the weblog of Alan Knox

Living as one who is sent by God… wherever you are

Posted by on Jan 18, 2013 in church life, community, discipleship, edification, missional | 8 comments

Living as one who is sent by God… wherever you are

Typically, when we gather together on Sunday mornings with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we have a plan to study through a certain section of Scripture together. We usually discuss an entire book together; so each week we know which chapter we’ll be studying that week. (When we gather together at other times during the week, we rarely have that same kind of plan.)

For the last few weeks, we’ve decided not to study through a book. We’re not setting that aside completely, because it has been very valuable for us. (In fact, we plan to start studying another book of Scripture together in a couple of weeks.) But, for now, we’re not discussing a particular passage of Scripture together.

However, when we came together last Sunday, God definitely had an agenda for us… but not an agenda that any of us planned. It turned out that as we asked for prayer for people whom God had brought into our lives over the last few weeks, a pattern emerged. We were all asking for prayer for people at different places in their walk with Christ – some of them were not following Jesus at all – and God was using us in different ways in the lives of these people.

We began to talk about how God was showing us how important it was for us to live intentionally as those he had sent into the world. Yes, it’s very important that we gather together and build each other up (the point of this blog, by the way). But, the “gathering up” suggests dispersal, and the “building up” suggests that we’re being prepared for something. In fact, we’re seeing more and more that God is sending us out to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and to help others follow him with us. (When I say, “With us,” I don’t necessarily mean meeting with us on Sundays or at other times. I mean we are helping others follow Jesus as we follow him also.)

Someone mentioned a neighbor. Someone else talked about a coworker. Someone met a person in the grocery store. There were different people at different points in their lives and at different locations.

At one point while we were talking, one of our sisters described how God had brought a young man across her path. She was with some friends when this guy made a comment about God. She started talking with him, and eventually the young man started asking her questions. This happened over the course of several weeks. After not seeing each other for a few weeks, the next time she saw him, the young man continued the conversation by asking questions about what they had talked about previously.

Our sister asked the church some questions about talking with him. She wanted wisdom for how to answer his questions, and how to approach him with the gospel. She expressed her desire to see him walk with Jesus, and at the same time expressed her frustration with not being able to make him understand. It was a great time of building up our sister and praying for her and the young man.

By the way, this young lady is 13 years old, and these conversations have taken place in a public school.

Like I said, I’m excited about what God is doing in our group of brothers and sisters in Christ, and I’m excited about what God is doing through us as well… from the oldest to the youngest. I’m also glad that our young sister felt comfortable enough to ask questions and seek wisdom from the church as we gathered together.

She was a great example and a great reminder that we are to live as those who are sent by God wherever we are and whatever we do.


8 Comments

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  1. 1-18-2013

    awesome!!! :) love it

  2. 1-18-2013

    Randi,

    Thank you. I loved it too. It was such as awesome time together.

    -Alan

  3. 1-19-2013

    I think it’s great that everyone’s comfortable with letting the meeting take a different course than usual. Sometimes I think a rigid plan keep people from opening up.

  4. 1-19-2013

    I am sure you did/sure it was. Very encouraging, thank you! :)

  5. 1-19-2013

    Nice! I like that you usually have a plan…even if it is a plan to omit the plan for one week. Where I have trouble is in a setting where you arrive expecting a plan…the continuation of a study, say…and someone interrupts that by saying the Holy Spirit has told them He wants to do something totally different that week. Once or twice is fine, but when it gets to be a pattern some of us who thrive on a semblance of order get frustrated.
    By the way, can you explain how a human can usually present an orderly concise sequence of thoughts, but the Holy Spirit…almighty God…seems to stumble for words, repeat Himself endlessly, and wander around with no apparent direction? Personally I’m starting to think not all called “the Holy Spirit’s speaking” truly is that.

  6. 1-19-2013

    Jenny,

    Yes, it has been a refreshing change, although as a group we’ve agreed that it’s beneficial for us to normally have selected a passage of Scripture to study through together. Of course, even then, people are free speak, teach, share, sing, etc. on a different topic or different passage of Scripture.

    Randi,

    Thank you.

    Tom,

    I think it’s difficult to state categorically whether or not something someone says (even if they stumble, repeat themselves, etc.) is from God or not. I think that’s why discernment is such an important part of the church gathering together.

    -Alan

  7. 1-20-2013

    Perhaps the issue is not so much what is said as whether it is claimed to be “a direct word from/by the Holy Spirit” as opposed to merely claim that “this is something I feel God is teaching me, and I want to share it.” The latter suggests a humility and allows the hearer to excuse some of the stumbling.
    [separate subject: just a note to any of your interested readers to say that the first part of my eBook, Revisiting Scripture: Assumptions will be FREE to ‘buy’ on Kindle for 5 days starting next Wednesday the 23rd. They can visit my web site http://www.revisitingscripture.com for more info]

  8. 1-21-2013

    Tom,

    I agree that humility is important whenever we’re sharing something with the church.

    -Alan