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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Seekers

One Sunday evening some years ago, I was a visitor at a certain church in a town near where I lived. I had heard good things about this church. In fact one of my (then) teenage sons had been there and said he liked it. I recognized the possibility that my son’s “liking” for church might relate more to a certain red-haired girl in whom he had a passing interest than it did to the church experience, but for him to like church for any reason was unusual enough to get my attention. Consequently I decided to go and check it out myself. It was all good and I learned a few things, but one incident in particular has stayed with me.

Whether it was because he noticed the presence of this stranger (me) in the crowd or for other reasons entirely, the Pastor chose that evening to put out an invitation to those who might be seekers, inviting them to come have a visit with him. In fact, I think he said he was thinking of starting a seekers class. What was in his mind I am not sure, but my perception of this invitation was, “If you have questions, come and I will do my best to give you the answers.” I don’t think many pastors would knowingly send that message today.

A few years ago it was popular to use the word “seekers” to describe people within any given population who were thought to be seeking God or needing a church. The thinking was, if a church could just find more seekers and give them our answers, the church would grow and everything would be fine. It didn’t generally work out that way. Either we weren’t very good at ‘seeking seekers’, or the entire model was faulty.

Since that time I, at least, have come to recognize that there appears to be a greater truth involved in this word. We are all seekers! Every one of us, at least at some point in our life, is seeking after a greater understanding of, or a relationship with, God. I don’t know one single person who has it all figured out. Over the years I have met a few who claimed to know all the answers, but somehow their answers never seemed to work for everyone else.

Recognizing this fact makes a big difference in how I might choose to think of or use that word. We are all seekers. Not one of us knows all the answers. There is no divide between seekers and ministers, the churched and the unchurched, or even those who are knowledgeable about the Bible and those who are total novices. We are all on the same playing field here, although some may have been playing at it longer. Even if you have never tried to pray in your life, your prayers seeking answers are just as important as the next person. Consequently, if I were thinking of starting a seekers class, it would not be to invite a bunch of people who didn’t know God so I could give them all the answers, it would be for me and anyone else who wanted to join so we could discuss the questions together.

There are times when a class to teach information is just what is needed, such as a class for those seeking baptism, or a Good Sense class for those who need financial information. But when it comes to developing a stronger relationship with God, lets admit that we are all seekers, and simply share our journey together.

Posted by Carman

1 comment:

  1. Carman,
    I appreciate your thoughts this morning and the use of the word “seeker”. I’ve struggled with that word for some time as I felt it separate “those who knew the answers” from those who did not. It’s true..we are all seekers, and none of us have the corner on the truth. We’re seeking it out together. And finding time to share what we’ve learned and listen to what other’s have learned along the way takes more time than a one hour service on a Sunday morning. May we be intentional in making space and time to seek the Divine together!
    Kris

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