I view the Imagine Project as an approach to how you build the church out and how to build disciples. It’s not something churches can do on the margin and then move on to the next thing. It has to keep being reinforced it in sermons. It has to be reinforced in discipleship groups. Our church has been talking about building real relationships with people rather than just turning a conversation into pitching the gospel.
One of the other things we’ve done is to start thinking about all of our evangelism in terms of Four Tables (from LICC). We start with the work table. When folks are at work, they can have some level of conversation about things, but typically don't get that serious. Then, there is the coffee table where the setting is more relaxed and the conversation can be more real, can go deeper, and both parties can share more about what is important in life.
From there, relationships can move to the dinner table. That’s where folks share real conversations of life. As relationships grow over time, perhaps there will be the opportunity to share the Lord’s table. We have used that as a grid for helping people think through how are we going to work out evangelism in real relationships in everyday life. It has helped us have a common language in terms of discussing relationships. We’ll talk about this is a ‘table one’ or ‘table two’ thing, or a ‘table three’ thing.
We are continuously not trying guilt people into our church programs, but have people think relationally about where they already are and helping them think about those relationships. We have found this to be incredibly useful in helping us think where are we and what are we doing. Are we going to build a church that runs a lot of programs, or are we going to have some programs and try to equip our people for their everyday?