Just reposting this because it appears there were some issues with a couple of the connections for putting my blog out there… Thanks for reading!!
In my previous post I brought out the idea of unity and the need for brothers and sisters in Christ to truly live that kind of family together in unity. In order for that to happen it seems like doing life together has to be more of a reality than just a phrase we associate to certain ministry programs of the church. For right now let’s just take a brief look at the idea of life together!!
The title of this blog is not only the title to one of my favorite books from one of those classical authors (Life Together by Detreich Bonhauffer), but one of those catch phrases that have been adopted by our churches, especially in the ministry of small groups. Now upfront I will tell you that small groups have been a huge part of my wife’s and my journey of growing in our faith life. Both gender specific groups , mixed, and couple groups have been part of our experience with being church for 30 plus years. However, there are a lot more complexities of directions these small groups have and can take that realistically don’t look or feel anything like what Bonhauffer or really a number of others were envisioning for life together and small groups. I wonder if others of you reading this who have delved into the world of small groups would say to that!! Or maybe just simply wonder what really does life together mean??
Another book on this important topic that speaks into the importance of group life to us doing church well is Jim and Carol Pleudmann’s book Pilgrim’s in Progress . An overarching thought that the church seems to get but still has a hard time buying into is the importance of such gatherings for being the church. To truly elevate these gatherings to equal status than all the hoopla we build around the Sunday service is struggling mightily for our churches. I heard a local leader recently start his talk out to a room of small group leaders with this statement (which he repeated a few times) “the church is more than Sunday morning”. But realistically where are we at with this as far as the church in America??!! What truly dictates our life (and especially thinking of those following Christ) and competes for our time… let’s face it to do life together will mean a sacrifice. But sacrifices that can lead much more to the abundant life that God is offering us!! How will our churches encourage those on the pilgrimage in this direction (that is the direction of life together) as we journey towards our true Home and invite others to journey with us!!
It is not a program, or a system approach, or a particular curriculum that God has chosen to work in and through us. We as the temple of God are to avail ourselves of that work… not just in us… but through us!! To others!! This then will be what others will see as we live life together!! The church then, which is to be the representation of Jesus Christ on this earth, will have those looking on…. curious about what is going on and desiring to join in!!