Former pastor, David Hayward, creates online community after he discovered the amount of people whose needs weren’t being met in a traditional church.
Churches are everywhere and despite the growing number of them, the amount of people who attend is steadily on a decline. However, The Lasting Supper (TLS), founded by David Hayward, has steadily increased in popularity and people all over the world are now using his website as a place to call home.
So what exactly is The Last Supper? Simply put, Hayward has described it as “an online community– a place to gather together– but there’s no liturgy, no schedule. Besides, most of us are opposed to the word ‘church’ because it carries so much baggage.”
The Lasting Supper members are part of a private community who deems themselves “Spiritually Free,” and can talk about anything that they were previously afraid to discuss in their former places of worship. While The Lasting Supper does welcome everyone, it does have a strict list of values and principles that it enforces.
Members have reported many perks from the site since joining. Hayward has given members both a sense of secrecy and a voice that can be heard. Most members were cited as having come from a Christian religious background, however, most affiliates with the site now are considered to be mostly atheists or agnostics. Along with joining the group and getting to share your stories and participate in discussions, Hayward has even created a private Facebook Page where members can join together off the site and connect on social media.
Hayward created the community after spending years being educated, preaching, and trying to discover his own spirituality. In doing so, he found that none of his needs were being met within a church and sought to be religiously free while discovering his own sense of spirituality. He further believes that his community works so well because he doesn’t use titles that can be intimidating such as “church,” “pastor,” or require the amount of tithing that often comes with belonging to a church.
Members are located all over the world including Canada, The United States, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and so on. The biggest challenges that TLS faces are those who don’t understanding its meaning, may not agree with their beliefs and so forth. While not everyone is capable of being open-minded, TLS strives for people to understand its purpose. TLS supports everyone no matter their previous background, their own personal beliefs, sexual orientation and so forth. The fact that members have left churches makes some people uncomfortable, as not everyone is okay discovering their own spiritual self and destination.
“Today’s world is simultaneously more connected and more disconnected than ever. Christians are organizing themselves into alternative communities, but their organizations now meet online, and the ‘members’ of those communities reside in locations all over the world.” -David Hayward
Hayward was also recently a guest on Steve Brown, ETC.. His latest book, Questions Are the Answer: nakedpastor and the search for understanding was released at the end of July.