this is from the Tampa Tribune article written on our "non-traditional" approach to our faith. The article is much larger and focuses on 3 other people/ groups. There are also lots of pictures of our gathering.
The reporter channeled everything through the Barna book, Revolution, so some of what she focused on is out of context (we talked for over an hour) and I am kinda misquoted once (I said we could not find community in most Tampa churches, not that we did not need the church for community). Also, we don't call the gathering "Something different."
God In Everyday Lives
What drives the revolutionaries isn't fancy buildings and programming; it's their passion for God and a dedication to obedience, love and service to get more of God in their everyday lives.
They're people such as Rick Bennett, 37, a Seminole Heights father of two young children. Raised a Southern Baptist, he earned his master's in divinity. After working at a church for five years, he realized he had more questions than answers about his faith.
"The more I sought God in the Bible, the more sure I became of Jesus and less sure of the institutional stuff that gets thrown at us," he says.
Today, he and his wife, Kristi, host a kid-friendly group on Sunday nights called Something Different. Participants have a potluck dinner, do sacred readings and discuss Scripture.
The Bennetts also practice their faith by supporting and contributing to causes they believe reflect Christian values. They are environmentally conscious, support fair trade and nonviolence, and eat locally produced natural foods as often as possible.
Even Rick's career is a calling. In his first nonchurch job since college, he works as senior director of volunteer services at Metropolitan Ministries, an organization that jibes with his views on serving and empowering the economically disadvantaged.
One reason the Bennetts and others like them can pull away from the church is they no longer need it to find fellowship. When Rick Bennett wants to chat with like-minded Christians, he goes to Internet sites such as emergentvillage.com, described by its creators as "a growing generative friendship among missional Christian leaders seeking to love our world in the Spirit of Jesus Christ."
Bennett says he doesn't fit neatly into one category. He shares many of his Baptist friends' conservative values, yet his stands on social justice issues are liberal. He has been called a post-modern, post-congregational Christian. He prefers to be considered a middle-of-the-road moderate who strives to love and accept all people.
"I take my faith extremely seriously," he adds.
He suggests churches with no growth and little life in the congregation, "just close down for a while."
"They can keep the worship services, but shut down everything else and re-evaluate."
link to article and pictures