Saturday, November 25, 2006

impact from us

The Jesus community is the Body of Christ in the world. This Body is certainly not just here for itself. It's on mission. I remember years back, a strong Christian voicing his opinion that church should be only about edification of each other. Then during the week, separate members of it evangelize. This was from, in my view, a stunted reading of Paul's letters.

It is certainly true that we need to take care of each other in the Jesus community. We see this done in the early church in Acts. And this care is taught throughout the letters of the New Testament. There will be much opportunity for good ministry here. It's a mistake to discount this.

Of course we must not stop there. But the point is our impact into the world begins with our impact to each other. And part of that impact to each other is to help us together be Christ's Body in the world.

How did Jesus minister to people? Sometimes in multitudes, to be sure. But more often, just one person at a time. In doing this, Jesus was simply responding to opportunities with people, who came his way. As a community of Jesus, we need to point out to each other, needs of people that we're aware of. Impact from us in Jesus to the world must begin with us blessing each other. And from there it is really to be done as a team. We care about each other, and we care about the contacts each other has.

How can this be done? Some call for house churches to do it. That can work well, of course. From more traditional settings we need to break into smaller groups. Called by various names, such as "homegroups" by our church, these can help us begin to really practice this care for each other, and for those we come into contact with, as well as those in need in our community. We need to be open to fresh ideas in this. From emergent, or missional groups and others. But this is something that should be ongoing, at the heart of what our life as church is about, year round.

These words are descriptive of what we've been experiencing in our homegroup. A great opportunity to grow together. As we sing, think from Scripture, pray and serve each other and those around us in the world. So that more and more, when we think of ourselves we think as community. That our identity is wrapped up in who we are together as a Jesus community. That would impact others for their blessing and good.

What kind of experience have others of you had in smaller groups? Did such activity spur you to love and good deeds for each other- and for others in need?

4 comments:

Allan R. Bevere said...

A healthy fellowship should be outward focused. The more the church becomes the community Jesus intended, the more it will focus its attention on being the community of Jesus for the world.

Ted Gossard said...

Allan,

Amen! And well said. Thanks!

P.S.: Also a good checkup call for us all.

Kevin Funkhouser said...

I had a great experience as part of my college's worship team. I was having a lot of health problems at the time (frequent collapsed lungs, of all things), and my friends were there to drive me to the hospital, visit me, etc., time and time again.

The team was closely knit with the campus pastor's office, and the pastor and his wife took me in to their house for two weeks, rent-free with food and lots of love included, to help me rehabilitate while finishing my coursework. I have never experienced such love and care from non-family, and my confidence in the possibilities of the church will be hard to dash.

Ted Gossard said...

Kevin,

Thanks for your commment, and for sharing your experience with the great thought that came from that.

What a blessing! I too have seen what can happen in a group. As we seek to be Jesus in the world around us. There are always those, like yourself during that time, who need that touch, and who, in receiving it, can in turn touch others. And this can get the whole Body moving and in the rhythym of God's love, in our doing of good in the world. Thanks!