Only One Broken Key
“For as the body [the Church] is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body … And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” 1 Corinthians 12:12, 26 (NKJV)
Evxn though my typxwritxr is an old modxl, it works quitx wxll xxcxpt for onx of the kxys. I havx many timxs wishxd that it workxd pxrfxctly.
It is trux that thxrx arx forty-onx kxys that function wxll xnough, but just onx kxy not working makxs thx diffxrxncx.
Somxtimxs it sxxms to mx that our church is somxthing likx my typxwritxr—not all thx kxy pxoplx arx working propxrly.
As onx of thxm, you may say to yoursxlf, “Wxll, I am only onx pxrson, I don’t makx or brxak thx church.”
But it doxs makx a big diffxrxncx, bxcausx a church, to bx xffxctivx, nxxds thx activx participation of xvxry pxrson.
So, thx nxxt timx your xfforts arx not nxxdxd vxry much, rxmxmbxr my typxwritxr and say to yoursxlf, “I am a kxy pxrson in thx congrxgation and I am nxxdxd vxry much.”
This is what happxns to thx wholx church, and multiply this by many timxs—thx wholx thing just doxs not makx sxnsx! Author Unknown
So don’t be a broken key—be a useful one.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, thank you that I have an important part to play in your Church—the body of Christ. Help me to know what my part is and accept it positively and apply and use it diligently by faith. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
Comment at: http://www.actsweb.org/daily.php?id=356
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”1
It’s rather depressing how the news media thrives on presenting negative news because that’s what sells—or at least that’s what we’re led to believe. But as Michael Josephson suggested in an issue of Character Counts, “let’s stop thinking about the handful of ex-college coaches who were fired for dishonorable conduct and the one sportsman who belittled his profession and destroyed his own good name (and possibly his promising career) through illicit sexual behavior—and remind ourselves of the noble side of sports.
Read more: http://www.actsweb.org/daily.php?id=478
The same apostle who said, “Let us not love in word or tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18), also recorded Jesus saying, “These things I speak . . . that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves” (John 17:13), and, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63).
If the “speaking” of Jesus imparts joy, and the “words” of Jesus give spiritual life, then surely such speaking is love.
It has always troubled me that 1 John 3:18 could be taken to imply that what we do with our mouths is a less real or less frequent form of love than what we do with our hands. “Little children, let us not love in word or tongue but in deed and in truth.” It seems to me that we have practical and biblical reasons for saying that the muscle of the tongue is more frequently the instrument of true love than any other muscle of the body.
So let’s step back and see what John is saying in 1 John 3:18 and what the wider witness of Scripture is. Notice the context, the structure of his words, and what other witnesses say.
1. The Context
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. he who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 (NKJV)
The prominent Roman Catholic theologian, Hans urs von Balthasar, was once asked why there was a need to believe in the Trinity. His answer was simple: “It is thanks to the Trinity that we can know that God is love.” But how does the Trinity allow us to know that? I think that 1 John 4:8 suggests an answer.
Continue at: https://faithalone.org/blog/triune-love/
Today’s post is a guest post adapted from my good friend Rich Birch’s brand new book, Unreasonable Churches: 10 Churches Who Zagged When Others Zigged and Saw More Impact Because of It, for which I had the privilege of writing the forward.
Paul Lawrence worked on the assembly line at the Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama. As he watched a YouTube video on his phone about basic tennis lessons during one of his breaks, another worker, Jamal Henry, overheard the video and sat down across from him.
“Sounds like you’re a tennis player,” Jamal said with a smile. Paul looked up from his phone with a grunt. “Well, I don’t know that I would say that. But tennis is my thing. I’m trying to be more active, you know.” The two men introduced themselves and Jamal invited his coworker to come check out the group he played tennis with every Tuesday night.
Paul was soon playing every week with Jamal’s tennis group, and he also accepted Jamal’s invitation to come with him to church.
What began in a factory break room would be completed in the last place Paul ever expected to go—an “unreasonable church”—a massive church of 38,000 and growing, yes, but also a church that knows how to bring people together through small groups of all shapes and interests.
Many churches have small groups, but they are typically pre-set types initiated by the leadership, and while these groups can reach many…they don’t reach all.
What if we’ve been managing small groups in our congregations completely wrong? What if there was another way that was even more effective?
Whatever your church size is at the moment, here are three reasons why you might want to try a new approach to small groups in your own congregation.
1. People Learn Best When They Work and Play Together
Most small groups meet in churches on Sunday mornings, or on weeknights in a home, focused on Bible study. There’s no doubt studying God’s Word is extremely important, but something special occurs when we combine our desire for pursuing a closer relationship with God with our desire for a relationship with others.
Though it may seem like a pretty hands-off way to train new leaders, this way of learning within the context of playing and working together is not new. Jesus practiced this leadership method often.
Think about the original 12 disciples Jesus chose; despite lacking the background, education and vocational aptitude for the huge enterprise they would undertake, Jesus devoted himself to them. He spent time with that small motley group of men, young and uneducated, on a daily basis. Then, after His death and resurrection, He left them with a commission to “go and make disciples of all nations.”
These “group leaders” received only a mere three years of training before they began leading their own “groups,” and most of it occurred over meals and while traveling. But these very first small groups were catalysts that changed the world, with the Holy Spirit as their “coach” along the way.
The very day after Jesus was baptized, John the Baptizer saw Jesus and said to His disciples, “Look, the Lamb of God!” (John 1:35, NIV). When two of John’s disciples heard this, they followed Jesus, who invited them to “come…and you will see” (John 1:39).
This is what Jamal did with Paul Lawrence; he invited him to “come and see.”
When Paul first attended the “Drop Shots Tennis Group,” he connected with people who put God first in their lives—not tennis—and his life changed forever.