By Pastor Dave Rankin, Senior Spiritual Director

Recently during a time of sharing, I heard a question I had not heard in some time and it reminded me of things I had heard in the past and a question I had asked myself. Pastor Andy Hagen of Advent Church asked the question: “What are we doing to bring Via de Cristo back to our churches?”

How often have you heard someone say after a weekend: “I wish my church was more like this”? And we should probably ask why aren’t our churches more like this event because we so often say, “This was a life-changing event in my walk with God” or “this was a mountaintop experience in my life or walk”?

What is it about Via De Cristo weekends – what are some of the things we do on a weekend that strike a chord in this seemingly disjointed, don’t get in my space, or I don’t need any contact outside my own circle of influence world, that we should or could be bringing back to our churches?

Think about it — when was the last time you ate together at church? What a powerful time on each weekend when we get together and share food and our lives with others, some of whom often become lifetime friends. Could you find a way to do the same within the church?

One of my favorite quotes comes from Pastor Andy Stanley and staff at North Point Community Church in Atlanta: “Life is better in circles than rows.” Ever think about why we use circular tables on weekends? There is a powerful dynamic in circles, allowing each to see those they are sharing with during those three days of the weekend, both in the Rollo Room and the Dining Room. Like reunion groups which often circle up on a regular basis, think about your small groups or church service itself.

In addition to the goals of helping people grow in their relationship with Jesus and raising up and training leaders within our congregations through sponsorship, let’s consider letting them bring their newfound enthusiasm and love for God and His children back with them to where they started the journey: The Church.

Grace and blessings to each of you. I hope to see each of you at a weekend event this year.

Pastor Dave Rankin Senior Spiritual Director