By Sam Pullen, Church of Thomas
In Indianapolis, it seems that a person seeking a church has two options: 1) a theologically progressive church that might lack some of the creative aesthetics that appeal to people of my ilk, or 2) a church that is doing interesting things creatively, but “behind the curtain” is practically fundamentalist. It’s rough out there for a church-shopper.
This is the niche that Church of Thomas (CoT) is trying to fill. It’s a place that uses arts and experimentation and also is for women, for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, and is less concerned with people professing a strict set of creeds or dogma.
In fact, our name comes from the apostle Thomas, the doubter. We embrace doubt and disbelief as a spiritual practice. It’s part of our DNA. Many of us CoTers describe ourselves as post-evangelical or post-church, yet here we are gathering as a church. We come with a good deal of spiritual baggage. We, at times, sound like a church-survivor support group, but we use that as fuel for creating a church of our design… a church without the toxic trappings.
It has been difficult. We are still a small group, and we are still trying to figure out what we’re about and what we’re supposed to do next.
As the pastor, I am not the entrepreneurial, salesman type. Beyond that, we find ourselves hesitant to tell folks about what we’re doing, because we have been burned by ministries and don’t want to be “like those people.” But it’s hard to grow when you don’t tell others about what you’re doing.
This is something we’re working to get over, because we believe the message we’re spreading truly is Good News. That’s something this world could use a little more of.