Josh Brage

Why Do You Eat and Drink with Publicans and Sinners? – Part 1
January 31, 2007, 4:19 pm
Filed under: Emerging Church, Walk with God

“But the scribes and Pharisees murmured against His disciples saying, “Why do you eat and drink with publicans and sinners?” – Luke 5:30

This takes place at a party that Jesus started at Levi’s house. Jesus says some profound things about ministry and loving people during this feast. We need to take this to heart. Jesus came for the sick. Not only that, but when He was talking on this earth, he went to the sinner’s houses. He sat with them. He talked with them. He did not just throw an event and invite them to come to Him, He had them throw the events and He invited Himself.

In today’s “Emerging Church” movement there is a lot of discussion about the differences between SEEKER ministries and MISSIONAL ministries. The difference is that a seeker-style ministry holds events that are shiny, well-produced and well-publicized and attempts to get a large number of people into the building. This has its pros and can be effective.

The missional-style ministry is one that ‘takes it to the streets’ if you will. It seeks to take the people that already are coming to church and send them back out to love on the people around them. Occasionally it encourages people to invite their friends to their events, but that is not the primary goal. I believe that this is closest to how Jesus operated. He went to people. He met them where they were at, on the street, at the well, in their house, up a tree, etc. He found where they were and they He went to them and ministered to them.

With this in mind I want to share something that Rich Kirkpatrick showed me. This article from tells us about The Journey in Saint Louis.

Mixing of Beer, Church Contested

Tuesday Jan. 30, 2007

ST. LOUIS (AP) – A new church is attracting members with unconventional methods such as pouring beer during theological discussions, but Southern Baptists say the outreach runs contrary to what the ministry represents.

A congregation of young St. Louisans called The Journey has grown from 30 members in 2002 to 1,300 members. The growth has been fueled by energetic programs, including Theology at the Bottleworks, a gathering at a suburban St. Louis microbrew pub for discussions on serious and offbeat topics linked to religion, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported yesterday.

Conversations cover issues from racism in St. Louis to modern art controversies to the debate about embryonic stem cell research.

Darrin Patrick, The Journey’s founder and pastor, said participants at the pub are invited to Sunday services.

But Southern Baptists, with whom the church has a working relationship, are questioning the church’s methods of attracting worshippers, specifically its use of alcohol. That, they argue, runs contrary to a church teaching.

Another similar ministry is called The Pub Ministry. PUB is an acronym that stands for Praying Unifying Bonding. This is a loosely organized discussion event that is held at a couple of local pubs. Here is the ministry’s blog.

This is extremely interesting and I am sure that you can see how controversial this is. How would this make you feel if it was out of your church? Would it excite you? Would it frustrate you?

EDIT: I was mistaken. The Journey does not have anything to do with The Pub Ministry. They are two different ministries. I apologize for this misinformation.

(also posted at getvertigonow)


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