We have been looking for a public place to hold a Bible study where people would feel comfortable going and yet would be quiet enough that you can hold a conversation. I thought this would prove to be very difficult but instead was much easier than I anticipated. I talked with fifteen pubs in town and we now have three great options to choose from (We also plan on having a second location at a local hotel). For many readers it may seem strange that we would not have the study at our home. After all, is there a better place to show hospitality and to let people see how you live? Our reason for choosing a neutral place twofold.
First, we have learned in our time here people do not feel comfortable coming over to your house if they do not know you. If invited they may come once, but they would feel uncomfortable and "trapped." After you get to know someone, people are more than happy to come over, but, in order for people to feel more comfortable, we are trying to find a neutral location to learn about God's Word.
Second, since Catholicism's downfall in Ireland many have been burned by cults of all different shapes and sizes often meeting in a home. Consequently people are wary of anything that isn't Catholic (the known "evil") and/or meets in a home. This means people tend not to trust something that doesn't have it's own meeting spot. That is where having a neutral and known place to meet helps.
We want to eliminate as many unnecessary stumbling blocks and offenses as possible and allow the Gospel to be the only offense. We are thankful that God has already been faithful and opened the door to places for us to meet (for free even!). We know that the Gospel is the power of God to save men and so we are excited to see what God does through this Bible study. If you could join with us in praying as we choose a spot to hold an introductory Bible Study as well as praying that the Holy Spirit would be at work in and through it, we would appreciate it.