It’s impossible for a Pastor or even a church staff to care for the spiritual, emotional, and social needs of every individual and family in a congregation. Expecting them to do so places an unscriptural and undue burden on them and creates unrealistic and bound-to-be-unmet expectations in the minds of church members. I mentioned this in a post I wrote last weekend about how I’m sorry when I let people down. In that post, I raised a question. Who then cares for the individuals within a church family? And I answered it. “The individuals do.”
Some churches raise the bar when it comes to recruiting small group leaders. You need to be a member for X amount of time, well versed in the church’s doctrinal statement, agree to a lifestyle covenant, etc. The more qualified the leader, the stronger the group will be… or so goes conventional wisdom. But is that really true?
Huntington Beach represents authentic southern California beach culture. You’ve got bodybuilders working out on the sand, skateboards and bikes covering the boardwalk, and street performers driving nails up their noses for tip money. My family and I visited there yesterday with the Krumm’s, friends of ours here in Orange County. It was a fascinating taste of local culture for us and in the midst of that experience, I observed some of the markings of genuine community.
One of my favorite websites is The Daily Spurgeon where my friend Nick spends a lot of valuable time culling the pages of Spurgeons sermons and works to offer up a daily couple of paragraphs from one of history’s greatest preachers. Today, Spurgeon echoed something that has been on my mind lately about Loving the Brethren.
As Luke records it in Luke 22:14-23, Jesus sat at a table with the apostles to celebrate the Lord’s Supper with them. Then He promised that someday, they would sit at another table with Him in the Kingdom. Many Christians see the communion table as more of an altar – a place of ongoing sacrifice, but I believe it was intended to be seen as a table. What’s the difference?
Nobody is closer to me than my wife and daughter, whom the church which I attend could never replace. But I remember Rick Warren talking about how we should be “doing life together” with our church family because we’re really preparing to live with them as family for all of eternity. Today reminded me of what it means to be a church family.
Thursday I visited the Native American Museum here in Bentonville with our Keenagers group and enjoyed lunch with them. Friday we dropped in on the Refuge Lockdown and were blessed not only by seeing 30 teens show up to stay up all night, but were also privileged to exit and sleep in a nice comfy bed! Saturday we watch the University of Arkansas Razorbacks get decimated by Alabama. And today, we had a great day together in worship as a church family.
We’ve been going through the “one another’s” of the New Testament on Wednesdays at Bethel and it’s been a nice journey so far. I think the Scriptures themselves can simply break our hearts over the need for a close bond of fellowship within God’s family.
What does that mean, anyway? Actually, it means “come by here.” We didn’t sing Kumbaya at camp this week, but God definitely showed up! This was my first experience with church camp… ever! I’d been to Conservation Camp in elementary school and hated every minute of it. This week was vastly different. For one thing, thirty-six people got saved!
The blog has been put on hold for a couple of weeks now, primarily because of all that my wife and I have been experiencing in our personal lives. Here’s a recounting of it…