the weblog of Alan Knox

I didn’t know something was missing

Posted by on Jan 11, 2011 in community, discipleship, edification, fellowship, service | 8 comments

I didn’t know something was missing

A few years ago, some friends introduced us to crab rangoon at a local Chinese restaurants. The crab rangoon that we were served was fried dumplings with some cream cheese on the inside served with the standard orange sweet and sour sauce. They were okay, but they were not as great as most people made them out to be.

Then, a few weeks ago, we tried crab rangoon at a new Japanese sushi restaurant in town. This time, the crab rangoon was completely different. Yes, it was still fried dumplings. But instead of cream cheese, this time there was some type of delicious crab salad on the inside. And, the sweet and sour sauce was not the typical orange sticky mess. It was a wonderful sauce with a combination of sweet and chips of peppers for the “sour” part.

We fell in love with this type of crab rangoon, and we realized that we had never truly had crab rangoon before.

Our experience with crab rangoon illustrates something that I’ve learned about Christians and the church, especially when it comes to fellowship, discipleship, edification, community, service, etc.

Often, it turns out, Christians have never really experienced these things before. But, they don’t realized that they’re missing something until they begin experiencing it for the first time.

For too long now, the illustrations, principles, and commands of Scripture have been placed under the hermeneutical (interpretive) pattern of the traditional local church organization, hierarchical leadership, and “worship service.”

As I’ve met more and more people who begin to understand how the patterns and descriptions and instructions of Scripture can and should apply to their entire life and to all of their relationships and time spent with other believers, they also begin to realize that something was missing all along. But, of course, they didn’t realize that something was missing, because they had always been told that everything was great.

When people move away from “fellowship” as a covered dish meal, and their eyes are opened to how they can experience the community of the Holy Spirit with one another, they begin to see what they’ve been missing. When those who are following Jesus Christ step away from “discipleship classes” and truly begin to share life with one another, they also start to understand what they’ve been missing.

And, I have to add, these things that are missing from the lives of many Christians (and were missing from my life for a long time) are much more important than crab salad and good sweet and sour sauce in a crab rangoon.

Jesus Christ has a full, exciting, interesting life awaiting those of his children who leave their old life behind and begin to follow him. It is much, much more than singing a few songs, putting money in an offering plate, and listening to a sermon. It is much, much more than attending a few classes and taking part in some programs.

Don’t misunderstanding me… this full, exciting, interesting life is always packed with struggles, troubles, trials, hard work, sweat, tears, pain, etc. But, you’ll find your life also stuffed with Jesus along with the struggles.

Many of my readers know exactly what I’m talking about, because they’ve tasted the difference. Some of you may not understand what I mean. But, I hope that soon God will allow you to live the life of fellowship, service, love, discipleship, etc. that he has for you, and that you will be able to say, “I didn’t know something was missing.”


8 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 1-11-2011

    What a great way to express the concept!

    I’m stumbling along looking for that more authentic crab rangoon.

  2. 1-11-2011

    This absolutely rocks. :-)

  3. 1-11-2011

    Alan has just hit another HOME RUN

  4. 1-11-2011

    I’ve never tasted real crab rangoon, but I am beginning to experience real community and fellowship. I don’t want to ever go back to that artificial stuff I used to like.

  5. 1-11-2011

    I’m glad this post resonated with so many. Thank you all for your kind words!

    -Alan

  6. 1-12-2011

    Wait a minute… you’re telling me crab rangoons are supposed to have crab in them???? i’ve always wondered where the name came from.

    But seriously, its almost as if what i have always been part of was just a shell of the real thing. It was called the saem thing (like “fellowship” time or “worship” or “giving”) but it really wasn’t the real thing once you learned what the real thing was.

    Dan

  7. 8-30-2011

    What is known as the wolf in sheep’s clothing is a common phrase. But, what is it called when a Christian goes to church and sits there and unknowingly submits to a lie believing that he is doing the church thing correctly? After all, that is what everyone else is doing, sitting next to me, rocking back and forth as the choir sings. Maybe it is called chameleon. We put on our church colors, blend in, parrot along, and live that one hour as if we were Christian, believing that God will sustain us for another week. My chameleon colors had faded to the point to where I was grey, no color. No longer did I feel or act like those sitting next to me. After thirty years of blending in, attending every event, concert and/or service, I just could not do it any more. Disgusted, I left. Angry until *I* “found” the Organic Church. The Relationship that I had been looking for for thirty years became real. Sure, the wolves in sheep’s clothing are still there. So are the chameleons. The parrots too. I live in freedom now, free from all that bound me as a chameleon. Discovered Christ in me and there my Journey has begun. Because Alan writes and we read then we sail along in our journey.
    Lurking the Blogs,
    Dwayne

  8. 8-31-2011

    Dwayne,

    For me, I recognized and knew personal fellowship with God. However, I had been taught and I had learned that fellowship with one another was found in church activities. It wasn’t until I really began sharing life with others that I learned fellowship with others is much, much more than church activities.

    -Alan

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Top 10 of 2010: The Assembling of the Church « The Ekklesia in Southern Maine - [...] a recent post, I didn’t know something was missing: When people move away from “fellowship” as a covered dish …