the weblog of Alan Knox

Church Life #10 – Not Just Me

Posted by on Nov 11, 2009 in church life, community, discipleship, edification, fellowship, gathering | 6 comments

This series is about our life with the church as we attempt to live together as brothers and sisters. (For a more detailed description of this series, see my post “Church Life – A New Series.”)

Reading through this series and my blog, it may appear that “church life” depends on me. But, that’s not true at all. So, in this post, I want to highlight a few ways that many of our brothers and sisters share life together that my family may not be directly involved with.

When we first starting meeting together as a church, we started a few Bible studies, because that’s what churches do. While the formats and times and locations and people involved have changed from time to time, two of those Bible studies continue today. The people involved with the Bible studies decide what they are going to study and how they are going to study. One Bible study is now hosted by a family who is not a part of our church apart from the study.

One family has four young boys. A few years ago, while they were studying Scripture together, the boys were convicted about caring for widows. So, the family started spending time in a local nursing home. They invite others from the church to join them and begin forming relationships with the residents.

Three of our brothers recently started playing soccer in an adult league. While they’re playing, two of the wives get together. Recently, one of the single guys (thanks Jon!) volunteered to keep their children so they could watch the soccer match.

I couldn’t begin to count the number of times that someone has made dinner for someone else due to sickness. This is not something that’s planned or announced, although someone will occasionally send out a notice to let people know that they are organizing meals for someone who is going to need them for a long time (like for a new mother).

People who are part of the church are constantly having dinner together, and inviting others who are not part of the church together. Just in the last year, at least three families have hosted missionaries and have then invited others to their house to hear from and encourage those missionaries.

These may sound like small things, and they are, in one sense. These are simply examples of how our brothers and sisters have chosen to share life together. Church life happens in the small things, the everyday, ordinary things.


6 Comments

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  1. 11-11-2009

    I totally agre with this post.
    It is the little things that matter as you mention playing sports togehter, sharing meals with those in need and getting together as groups in homes. I am apart of a congregation now that is growning leaps and bounds through small groups and progressive worship. It is a group of believers that are open to all denominations and stresses: faith, hope, love, grace. Everyone tries to take care of one another. Strong prayer ministries even praying for the holy spirit to move and empower the preachers as he speaks that lives be touched and changed. It is a very young congregation with about 60% averaging in their 30’s and 40’s. We love that it has lots of children and young families because our children can build on relationship as well. It is about relationships. The individual. Not looking to your own intrests but the interest of others. I believe if we go to church thinking of who can I encourage or uplift? How can I made a difference in the church today? How can I make it better? Who needs a hug? Who needs a cared? Who needs prayers? We need to strive to have the mentality of Paul, “It is no longer “I” but “Christ””.

    Excellent post brother.
    Thank you for continuing to challenging us.

  2. 11-11-2009

    Hi Alan,

    I appreciate your post, and the natural flow your ‘church life’ has… It seems your community is seeking to allow the Holy spirit to direct the body.

    Just have a slight issue with your wording… I’m sure no harm was intended.

    “One Bible study is now hosted by a family who is not a part of our church apart from the study.”

    I struggle too with the variety of ways the term church is used. I am assuming you believe this family is part of Christ’s church… and you are a member of Christ’s church… so I’d think this family is part of your church.

    Sorry to get hung up on the wording here. Maybe quotes around ‘church’ would feel less exclusive.

    I think it’s great that a family outside of your regularly committed fellowship community (???) can be included to the degree of hosting such a study. It is a testament that your community is not being exclusive, not trying to control everything, but allowing Christ to do his work in your lives and relationships.

    God bless!

  3. 11-11-2009

    preacherman,

    “Not looking to your own interests but the interest of others.” I also think this is very important. Thanks for bringing this verse into this discussion.

    Jon,

    I agree with what you said. I also struggled with how to say “who is not a part of our church”… I was hoping that most people would understand what I meant, and through your re-wording, I can tell that you did understand.

    -Alan

  4. 11-11-2009

    Alan,

    I’ve been away for a few days and had a bit of catching up to do with what you have written. I really missed the sense of fellowship which your blog brings into my life.

    What a smorgasbord greeted me when I began to catch up! Thank you dear brother!

    My wife and I taught and tried to model what you have written above, especially hospitality, but I have to admit that, in the traditional scene, it was mostly futile. Some even voiced suspicion at our motives!

  5. 11-11-2009

    Aussie John,

    If you and your wife are still interested in modeling this kind of life, I know a group of people in the US who would welcome you.

    -Alan

  6. 11-12-2009

    Alan,

    I appreciate the thought, but neither of us is in any condition to follow such a dream, much less make the trip.

    At least we can dream :)