Harold Behr shares some thoughts on building relational bridges:
Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. The do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God too… But Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by Him who is Himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God. Life Together, D. Bonhoeffer, Harper San Francisco, pg. 98-99
“Refusing to bring Judgement”
As George Fox says “”And this know....though the way in which people are guided seems to thee diverse, yet judge not the way, lest thou judge the Lord, and knowest not that several ways hath God to bring His people out by; yet all are one in the end”
“Practices of Inclusion”, or “Welcoming the Stranger”
Recognizing we are called to the “Ministry of Reconciliation”, and this is done by calling forth “The Good, the Right and the True” (Eph 5:9) in all that are invited. Refuse the “modern” concept of secular versus “Christian”. Recognize and act upon the fact that the ground is level for all of us at the foot of the cross, note Eugene Peterson's expression “Insiders and Outsiders rejoice together (Rom15:120Rom 3:9 (Basically all of us insiders and outsiders start out in identical situations....”
In an emergent simple church gathering a leader might say something like “I'm more convinced then ever that we don't have a clue about Christianity. I'm not an orthodox Christian anymore, I'm not a protestant, the kinds of questions we are asking are very different from the questions asked at other times and venues. Is christianity necessary? Whose religion is it anyway? What does it mean to incarnate Christ, to live redemptively in a materialistic world? Dwight Frieson, Quest, Seattle, from the new book “Emerging Churches” Gibbs & Bolger page 117.