Most people see the “church” as a institution, a group, or a meeting. What if she was a growing network of interconnected friendships that God is already inviting you into? What would it change for you to stop looking for meetings and groups and instead honored the relationships God has put in your life to either share his love together, or to dhow it to people who don’t have a clue yet they are loved?
This interconnectedness is very exciting.
The idea of and practicing honoring relationships already in my life and loving people I know has been challeging and made me re think how I treat people.
It is amazing.
Dawna in Sacramento
Hello, I am new here (I only read it, because my english is not so good, but today I will answer).
For me it changed already. When I stopped to go to this institution (church) my relationship to Jesus became again much deeper. And I felt and feel me free, free to life with Jesus and to show other people His love. We are a few people, which leaved this institution. We have more time to speak about what Jesus want and not what we have to do for the church. A lot of hours we spent to organisation meetings, events etc. And now I (or we) have this time for Jesus and he shows me people, which need His love. Be blessed, Pia Ambord from Switzerland
This hit me after recent severe flooding in the southern part of my state. People were being interviewed on the radio about the destruction. One man said, “We don’t have any pharmacies, we don’t have any churches…” I was struck with the thought that he is speaking of buildings. But with the real church there would be no worry about the IC buildings being washed away. The real church would continue to thrive and share and help those in need during these hard times.
“What if she was a growing network of interconnected friendship’s that God is already inviting you into?”
Oh, you mean the way God originally intended His ekklesia to be?
I think there would be no reason that we would not see the Book of Acts unfolding before out very eyes. And many’s a time I have been blessed just to be with sisters and brothers in the faith, maybe even for some temporal purpose, and come to a rather sudden sensation that we were “having a meeting”, i.e., doing church rather than so-called being church.
I recall years ago a fairly well off couple that flew all over the country to get in on the meetings where the “big-shot” evangelists were working wonders and miracles. Regardless of the validity or otherwise of what they saw, by the time they got home they seemed empty and ready to fly off to the next “big” event.
“Likely, they were looking for meetings,groups, (wonders), etc., instead honoring the relationships God had already put into their lives”.
I have discovered true life in Jesus is daily walking in the readiness to be Him to whomever he brings into my life. At the end of the day, no matter what I may or may not have done to accomplish things in the temporal realm, I do a quick audit as to what I have done that is of eternal value, helping a neighbour, encouraging a friend and the like.
I had to think through this a bit. I am wired for connection and I’m a pretty big extrovert. So one of my favorite things is hosting people at our farm and sharing life together. Before we left the IC, I felt led to convert an outbuilding on our property in a worship space and invite people out every 4-6 weeks to worship together in eating food together, music, prayer, and artistic expression.
I feel like in looking back, He was fulfilling a desire I had months ago to go deeper and to worship without constraint and control being imposed. I also see that He was setting things up to allow that much-needed outlet for community and doing life together.
Last night I was able to look down from our upper level of the house down and out into The Shed (our worship gathering place) and I saw the lights and the people laughing and enjoying each other and I had this huge wave of gratitude come over me.
I’m the one in the yellow with a guitar on the left side of the photo.
I want to make sure I don’t replace IC with the same amount of meetings and groups – even though I’m wired so much to be social. I think for me, it is less “busy work” and more intentional meet-ups in smaller and more rich gatherings.
Central Valley, CA
These are exactly the kinds of places where such relationships can begin and grow and take hold. Nothing I said takes away from times like this.
Agreed Wayne…I didn’t take what you said that way at all. I think what I was trying to say (not clearly) that I will need to be intentional about not filling back up my “empty time” with more activities trying to replace one with the other, rather than choosing to do things like I mentioned above.
Central Valley, CA
I have started to be a little more relational this year, and have done less looking for meetings, because I can’t find any in my area that I feel comfortable with anyway.
I think it helps decrease our stress level in life, if we don’t sense an overwhelming need to try so hard to find a meeting to go to, or find one that we feel comfortable with.
Unfortunately a lot of us have family, friends, and acquaintances that put a lot of stress on us by acting like we must go to a meeting, or else we aren’t following God, or aren’t following Him good enough.
It might take a while to turn away from the whole intensely frustrating activity of racing around to find a meeting, but the more we see that we are loved by God, the more we can slow down and relax.
We could replace the stress with simply sharing in Gods love through simple casual conversations, friendships, and kindhearted relationships.