"Hey Stan, I heard you are a preacher or something trying to start a new church. Why didn't you tell me, man?"
"Joe, I thought it would be better for us to be friends first before I let the cat out of the bag about being a pastor."
"Oh," said Joe in kind of a disappointed tone, "So you thought, hiding who you were and what you were doing was a good way to make a friend. You must not be from around here, huh?"
"No, but I know God has called me hear to help make this a better place," said Stan.
"It's a pretty good spot as it is, Stan, with some pretty good people. Maybe if you'd come over more often to my house when we've invited you to some parties, you'd see this is a good bunch of folks."
"Thanks Joe. Yeah, I probably shoulda done that before. Why don't you come on over to our church service next week and I'll plan to make it to one of your next parties?"
"That's great! I'd love to come. I ain't been to church much; what do you guys got planned?"
"Well, we have a bounce house in the children's ministry area, and we have a great alternative band leading the music every Sunday."
"I see; I see. That's kinda different. What about the Bible? You gonna teach me about Jesus from the Bible?"
"Well, we hope to get to the Bible and Jesus soon, but we think the best place to start is to just have conversations and to get to know one another. You know, share our lives."
"Yeah, we could do that, sure. But I do that all the time with all kinds of people. Most of us, as we are talking, often scratch our heads wondering what God might have to say about our messed up worlds and messed up lives. Maybe that Bible of yours could give us some answers."
"Joe, I don't want to be a Bible-beater just telling you what to believe. You need to discover the truth for yourself."
"Well, Stan, that there's the problem. I really want to know the truth, but I ain't found it yet. Didn't Jesus say something about being the way, the truth, and the life. That's what I need to know...heck, that's who I need to know. Could you tell me about him?"
"Joe, there's plenty of time for that, but there's more to church than Jesus. We have things like community, service projects, and helping the needy."
"Yeah, Stan, that's good. But what if I'm the needy one? When you gonna help me? I'm starving spiritually to be honest. Maybe if I had a bite to eat at the Lord's Table I'd be full."
"Joe, the Table is just a symbol. And we don't serve enough food to fill your belly anyway."
"Yeah, I didn't mean that I was looking for a bite of Jesus' flesh or anything. But gosh Stan, I've always thought it would be an amazing thing to feel like I could come up to God's table and eat from His bounty. I just don't think I deserve nothing like that."
"None of us do. That's why you gotta have faith."
"Faith in what Stan? Heck, you talk as if you don't have faith in God at all. Do you even know this guy? What kind of church are you starting? I might as well just hang out with my old buddies if all you got is conversation, discovering, conversation, and faith in who knows what."
"Well my church isn't for everyone."
"I'll let you in on a little secret, Stan. If you don't propose to tell people about all that God has done through Jesus and remember all that God has done through Jesus with that meal of His, I don't think you are going to be a church at all."