Why Church Leaders And Members Are Responsible For Each Other

http://chucklawless.com/2019/05/why-church-leaders-and-members-are-responsible-for-each-other/

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10 Dietrich Bonhoeffer Quotes That Taught Us About ‘Life Together’

Detrich Bonhoeffer quotes

April 9th marks 73 years since Dietrich Bonhoeffer was killed in a Nazi concentration camp. However, through various biographies and writings, his legacy has lived on in church history. Prolific on many subjects relating to Jesus and the church, Bonhoeffer not only wrote about total submission to the will of God, he lived it.

As the church continues to reap from the bounty of his writings, like The Cost of Discipleship and Ethics, there is one particular book that gets lesser attention but is equally important to the church and church leaders.

Life Together is a slim volume, unimpressive in its length, yet deceptively packed full of truth about communal living in the church. In this book. Bonhoeffer not only explores what life together in the body looks like Scripturally, but practically. He shares how Christians can and should interact, the dangers of too much community and being too solitary. His writing on the subject is a must read for any Christian wanting to understand the beautiful tapestry God weaves together through His children, and how one matures in that community.

As we remember the life of Detrich Bonhoeffer and his contribution to the church, here are 10 things he taught us about community in Life Together.

Detrich Bonhoeffer Quotes

1. Accountability is an absolute necessity among brothers and sisters in the body.

“Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.”

Read more: https://churchleaders.com/daily-buzz/277152-10-things-bonhoeffer-taught-us-life-together.html

Three Ways to Make the Local Church Feel More Like a Family

https://churchleaders.com/smallgroups/small-group-articles/305015-three-ways-make-local-church-feel-like-family-chris-martin.html

5 Reasons Why a Handwritten “Thank You” Note Can Make a Difference

By Chuck Lawless

I know I’m dating myself here, but I believe many of us need to return to handwriting some thank you notes. I assume that all of us can name somebody who has blessed us, either for a long time or even just today. Here’s why taking the time to write a “thank you” note matters:

  1. It takes time—which shows some depth of gratitude. Think about it – you have to buy the card, write the note, find an address, address the envelope, and mail it. Sure, the card arrives much later than an email would, but the effort behind the “thank you” note is seldom missed.
  2. Few people do it—so it catches the attention of the receiver. An email “thank you” is easier to send, but it’s also easier to miss on the other end. A handwritten note, however, often catches the recipient by surprise. Its very uniqueness in our Internet-based world makes a difference.
  3. It feels much more personal. I know that’s an emotional response, but it’s often true nonetheless. Somehow, seeing the handwriting and signature of an affirming friend or loved one is different than receiving an email.
  4. It provides good memories. I still remember “thank you” notes that arrived at just the right time with just the right words from just the right person. God used those notes to encourage me then, and my memories of them still encourage me today. That’s one reason I’m writing this post today.
  5. It models a good habit for others. I know many people who’ve received gifts and support from others, but who never took the time to say, “thank you.” It is as if we sometimes think we’re entitled to something, so we see no need to express gratitude. We need to learn, though, from others who seldom miss an opportunity to say “thank you” via a handwritten note.

So, I encourage you this week/weekend to write at least five “thank you” notes to people who have blessed your life. Let them hear from you, in the words of the apostle Paul, “in my [your] own handwriting” (Gal. 6:11).

Friend or just “friendly”?

~ NTD

I often mistake the two ideas, interchanging them as though they were the same. I am coming to believe there is a vast difference between them.

A “friendly” person has no animosity toward another. He/she may greet with a smile, shake hands, hug, and in every way be a warm-hearted person to be around. At club meetings, at church, or in the supermarket, they are happy to see others and may spend time in interesting conversation.

Being friendly does not mean the person is a friend. Shaking hands or asking about health or life is going does not mean they are a friend.

A “friend” is one who actually does something with encouraging words, actions or followup. They actually seek to make someone’s life better by their actions.

A friendly person may greet at church, but a friend will seek to encourage or help. A friendly person may smile as you drive past their house on the way home, but a friend will seek to have contact with you. One may have dozens of friendly people greet and talk at club or church, but a person is very fortunate to have someone take time and effort to come by when you are hurting or need to have someone to listen or share life over coffee.

A step deeper

Compare the difference between “like” and “love” in the English language. We confuse and intermingle the two words. We say we love chocolate Sundaes, we love our high school, our church, our neighbors, etc. Often that means little more than we have no animosity toward anyone. It might means we get pleasure out from being around them. We “like” our sports team because they bring excitement; we like our city park because it brings us tranquility;  we like our neighbors because they don’t cause us any problems. A definition: To “like” someone or something means I get pleasure, comfort, excitement, etc. from them.  It is me-centered. I get something out of it. To “love” means I seek to comfort, encourage, give help to the other. Watch how you use these words and what meaning you put into them.

You can be friendly — or “like” someone — and do nothing to benefit them. You have nothing against them and they might bring pleasure into your life. You love someone when you seek to benefit, encourage, help them — your actions benefit them. Not having a mean bone in your body does not mean you are a loving person. Love is an intentional doing something for another’s good. Maybe it is simply using an opportunity to say an encouraging word.

One can even find such a meaning in the Biblical text that says “God so loved, that he gave …” He loved, so he gave.

It can add new meaning to the idea, “I don’t like them, but I love them.” Meaning, I don’t like their attitude, lifestyle, etc, but I will seek to bless, encourage, help them, etc.

Play these introductory thoughts in your mind. Am I just being friendly or a real friend? Do I treat people in a friendly manner, have coffee with them, etc. because they bring something to me? Or, do I seek to be a real friend and seek ways to encourage, help, add something positive to their life? Do I merely “like” people or do I “love” people?

I would suggest that if we do nothing more than smile, shake hands, or are just pleasant to all, we fall short of being a friend — and we are not loving them.

Are you a real friend to others? Do you have any real friends?

Sometimes this hard line gets slippery. Sometimes just getting up and greeting someone is an act of love and grace — and is greatly encouraging and helpful to another person. I hope it causes some to think about whether they are just being friendly or really being a loving friend.

Three Reasons Why Men Need Community

by Chris Surratt

We all need community. In fact, we were designed by God to be in community. You can see it modeled for us with the perfect relationship of the Trinity in Genesis.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” – Genesis 1:26

And then Jesus prayed for this community with His final prayer before His death on the cross:

May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me. – John 17:21

So why do so many of us try to go it alone? We are men. That is the general answer and is what a lot of us were taught growing up. Real men can pull up the bootstraps and get ‘er done on our own. Even the appearance of leaning on someone else can make us look weak and feel like failures. I could go on and on with a long list of cultural excuses why you can’t be in community, but here are three strong reasons why you should be.

1. Being a man can be a lonely world.

Because we have been taught from birth to go it alone, we end up lonely. Even though we may have people around us all day at the office, we can still go without the life-giving community we desperately need. Your family can provide a piece of it–and our community should start there–but they can only do so much. Ultimately, we need fellow brothers in Christ to walk alongside us.

Read more: https://blog.lifeway.com/leadingmen/2018/12/11/three-reasons-why-men-need-community/?ecid=387181040&bid=308280756#.XBu-5KfMzN1

How I Learned to Embrace the Stand and Greet Time

https://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/337324-how-i-learned-to-embrace-the-stand-and-greet-time.html