Theology on Tap / Theology Pub Discussion Starters

Adam Walker Cleaveland is Minister for Youth and Young Adults at Asbury United Methodist Church in Livermore, CA.  At 31, he is among the younger voices of note in the emerging church movement and a co-founder of Presbymergent.  Adam is a candidate in the Presbyterian Church (USA) ordination process as well as a prolific and thoughtful blogger, writing primarily on his sites: PomoMusings and DazedDad.  To connect with him, view his flickr stream, follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook, or check out his professional site.

Recently he wrote about his first two years facilitating a monthly Theology Pub, which was “initially setup to become an opportunity for young adults to come together in a non-church setting and have conversations about God & theology.”  Interestingly, the gathering has attracted people from many generations and with diverse religious backgrounds.

So What?

This type of open dialogue, beyond the boundaries of the church’s campus, about matters of faith that matter is attractive to young adults (and, as his experience shows, to all adults).  I have talked to many people who have considered launching something similar, but have not done so for any number of reasons.  I appreciate that Adam has not only shared his experience, but has made available for download seventeen guides designed to facilitate theological discussion on topics including Bible, doubt, faith,  interfaith dialogue, pluralism and rethinking church.

  • Has your church ever tried a theology on tap or theology pub style discussion group? Why or why not?
  • How might this type of an event be more effective in reaching (both in terms of attendance and engagement) those who would not normally attend a church sponsored educational event (like adult Sunday school or a traditional small group)?

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