Why Beacon’s Programs Are Secular…
We’re a church, right? So why don’t we talk about Jesus in our programs?
Welcoming means making space for everyone
We want to welcome all of our community to our programs. No matter what you know or believe about the church and its story, we want to hear your story. We believe that to be the church we have to be in conversation with the world outside our doctrines. We want folks to feel safe to be totally honest about all they do and do not believe, without worrying that that would affect their welcome here.
Our programs are free and open to all: there is no financial or ideological cost
Our children’s programs welcome all children ages 5 and up and there is no cost. We charge no money for the programs and we don’t want anyone to feel that they owe us something or that we require them to be “church people” to participate. Each child who comes through our door is welcome just as they are.
We have found that kids have spiritual conversations when they are ready
We don’t initiate conversations about faith, but because they know we are pastors, kids often ask questions. This way we can walk with them as they discern their beliefs, instead of telling them what to believe. This also allows children to recognize that their growing faith isn’t about us and about what we want, but that they are wise enough to know God in their own lives. As a result, we learn from the children in the program and create a safe space for them to be open and honest with adults and with their peers.
We want to be more about listening than talking
At Beacon we talk a lot about sharing stories. Particularly with children, we find that if we share our stories first (whether faith stories or simply life stories), we set a standard that the children are anxious to meet. But when we invite them to share their stories first, their voices gain strength and knowing that they are known, they are more willing to hear the stories of those around them.