ABC’s new Q&A program has shown how a forum setting can make the political process and politicians ‘real’ and relevant to even the most cynical audience.

Here are eight reasons you should have Q&A @ church after the sermon.

1. It lets people ask questions that are real but the preacher didn’t get to. You can cover more text. People can also disagree with you, voice concerns, clarify things.

2. You can preach shorter sermons knowing that question time gives you a different way of teaching more material.

3. It models the preacher also sitting under the Word of God and the testing of what is taught. Several times I’ve had people who’ve only known Roman Catholic mass say to me they can’t believe a priest would be open to questions

4. It helps us teach one another - you can take answers from the floor and get people interacting with each other

5. It demonstrates preachers may not have all the answers or be polished but can point people to the Word of God. Its ok to say ‘I don’t know but I’ll find out’

6. It is risky and fun. Best of all when non-Christians join in, everyone knows you’re not preaching to the choir and they are seeing evangelism modelled. This happened to me last Sunday. A very thoughtful atheist asked some great questions about the relationship of faith and science, and where the burden of proof should lie on claims about God. I was able to talk about the resurrection but also throw to a scientist who contributed answers I couldn’t give. When you get real questions coming, back n’ forth, it feels like juggling chainsaws. Everyone is all bated breath. No one is turning away…

7. It tests whether the preacher is teaching the whole counsel of God or just reeling out a prepared spiel.

8. I think it helps people learn as they formulate questions or hear questions that come out of left field

I’m not saying you have to do it every week. But have a go.

What do you think?

Are there any weaknesses of this approach? When have you seen it work?

My congregation is small - can this work with a larger group?

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