In our last series, we talked about loving our neighbours, and stepped through six shifts. From stranger to neighbour to acquaintance to partner to friend to becoming “like family”.
It’s possible to become like family with a focused group of people, where you practice loving your neighbours within that small group, and see that spill over to others outside.
This series looks specifically at this stage of being “like family” with other followers of Jesus. It’s called the church, believe it or not. Important that explore what church means as we prepare to launch a new church in Ajax in 2014.
You probably have all sorts of preconceived notions of what that word means. Attached you’ll find a video of some people on the street who were asked about what they think of when they hear “church”.
You can find the video here:
Question: When you hear the word “church” what do you immediately see, or think? Make a list, there may be several. What experiences have informed you?
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We are beginning a new series on “Becoming Like Family” as our online community begin to share the daily challenges with friends, and we begin to gather our larger community together.
Why would we bother? One survey found that 59% of 18-29 year old Americans with a Christian background dropped out of church. Four-in-ten American young adults with a Christian background (43%) believe going to church and having Christian friends is optional.
It’s clear that not everyone feels it’s essential, and with our use of technology to form a new church, you might think we mean to simply form an “online” church where no one ever meets in person. But we believe it’s essential. We believe church is essential, but to be clear, we are talking about a community of people.
We’re not saying going to a building is essential
We’re not saying attending a particular kind of worship service with particular kinds of music is essential
Those might be good things. But they are things that churches do, not what makes them a church in the first place.
We want to ensure our church community will have five main characteristics. The first was learning common things about discipleship, and we explored that last week. The second, this week’s focus, is to be spending time in community together.
Some churches do this at bake sales, ham suppers, and such. For us, it will happen in groups that meet regularly to discuss how they’re growing as followers of Jesus. We’ll grow and learn together. Yes, we’ll be learning focused, but we’re also supposed to be a functioning community, a fellowship, in both small groups, and as a large group.
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, it takes a church to raise a follower of Jesus.
Question: Why do you think people might avoid joining a church today? Have you been part of a church before? Why or why not?
Reminder: The Following Jesus course in Whitby starts tomorrow – visit https://www.redeemthecommute.com/events/following-jesus-course-whitby-2013-11-05/
Reminder: Last week we saw the importance of reading the Bible together in sync, so our new daily bible readings start today in our mobile app and web site.
This series looks at becoming “like family” with others learning to follow Jesus. We're exploring how the church is not a building, institution or event, but a community of people. It's important that explore what church means as we prepare to launch a new church in Ajax in 2014.