Whenever the topic of Doubt on Tap and Coffee Doubt comes up there are a few questions that inevitably arise. The first is why do we do it? The second is almost always about how do Christians and non-Christians interact? The third question then is how do we do it?
This third question is the practical one. It’s all about gathering people and conversations. What surprises me every time that I have this conversation is just how simple Doubt on Tap really is. In its most pure form Doubt on Tap is a conversation between friends. Quite simply it is friends sitting around a table talking about the things that matter most to them.
That’s really it.
Truly, it isn’t much more than that. However, I am realizing that the idea of people getting around a table and just talking is something somewhat foreign. So, here is the step by step for Doubt on Tap.
First, find a location. For us it is the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti. It is an open space with no servers. The expectation is that folks will come to the Corner and connect with another. There are no televisions and the overhead music is quiet and unobtrusive. The beer and food are fantastic. It’s the perfect place.
Second, find some people. If you have friends, you’re in luck. Invite them to come hang out and enjoy the conversation and a beer. Set up a facebook page. Invite everyone to like it. Start talking about it on Facebook and Twitter. Hang up posters all over town. Invite your friends. Did I mention invite your friends?
Third, set some ground rules. Our ground rules for Doubt on Tap are simple: (1) We respect one another. The reason for this one is obvious. We all come from a variety of backgrounds and we expect everyone to feel respected as they share their thoughts. (2) Everyone talks. No lurkers! (3) There must be a moderator. This is really important. She is the enforcer and keeps the conversation moving. (4) We end after one hour. This is the hardest rule to follow. Wherever the conversation is at it ends at one hour. Leave folks wanting more! Besides is respects the commitment made by new folks.
Fourth, pick some topics that you’re interested in. Ask people to suggest topics on Facebook or Twitter. Or you can grab a little book called Pub Theology 101 that has thousands of topics indexed.
I owe a great deal of credit to Bryan Berghoef and his Pub Theology gatherings that began in Traverse City, MI and now in Washington DC. He wrote Pub Theology and Pub Theology 101. Please grab them and learn!