For many years I did a question-and-answer session after each worship service. At the end of the service, just before the benediction, I would say, “Anyone who would like to ask a question about something in the sermon, or in the service, or about our church or Christianity in general—you are invited to stay and ask me those questions. Immediately after the postlude, we will conduct a 40-minute Q&A session right here down in front of the podium.”
We had anywhere from 30 to 150 people stay afterward every week.
Three Kinds of Questions
When I began the session, I would reiterate the subjects we wanted to address (sermon, service, church, Christianity). I said they didn’t have to stay on the topic(s) in that day’s sermon, but that I especially welcomed questions about what I had preached on. Then I took questions for the 40 minutes or so. There were generally three kinds of questions:
1. Specific questions about the sermon and the subjects it raised.
2. Skeptical questions posing objections to Christianity or asking for evidence for God or other Christian tenets.
3. General questions about Christian beliefs and living.
A majority of the people who stayed were those newer to the church. There were a fair number of skeptics but also plenty of Christians who simply wanted to learn more about the church and its teachings.
As you might guess, there were many questions that kept returning again and again. That’s why, at the very end of the session, I would say this:
Thanks for coming. If you’ve been coming to this Q&A for a number of weeks, and some of the questions posed are ones you’ve heard before, it might be time for you to go to one of two other classes being offered at this same time every week—“The Credibility of Christianity,” for people exploring whether Christianity is true, and “Basic Christianity,” for people who want a survey of the fundamental beliefs of the Christian faith.