We are working toward becoming one church community united by common learning goals, even as we are scattered commuting people.
This week we’re studying a passage from Ephesians that includes this line: “until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.”
We want to highlight the process involved. The aim is to become more and more like Jesus, not just in outward appearance, but completely, the “full stature”. This is clearly not instant, but a maturing process, since no one on this earth has ever been completely like Jesus.
I have shared a few stories from when I studied engineering, and the importance of learning problem solving and analysis. That principle can be applied to any scenario, even the unprecedented and complex ones.
Discipleship is about theological problem solving in similarly complex and unexpected situations. Paul was involved in discipleship to help his church members avoid being thrown around by every idea, doctrine like a small boat in wind and waves.
Contrast a road and ocean. Some want faith to be a roadway, with clear boundaries, signs, maps and directions to follow. But the problem is that real life is much more like an ocean, where you can’t give a plan for every scenario , but follow a compass heading with a specific end in mind, but the actual journey will be less strictly defined. This is the pursuit of discipleship, to set a compass heading of what the bible calls “Christlikeness” – becoming like Jesus Christ. We will get there by navigating all sorts of wind and wave action, and keeping focused on the end goal.
This is a series on church community, becoming like family. Discipleship is a family effort, done in a group. I remember engineering projects that would have been impossible for me to do it alone – I knew one aspect of the project, while others knew theirs, and together we accomplished something greater than any one of us could do on our own.
In the same way, we aren’t meant to grow as a disciple alone. We need challenge, encouragement, and complementary gifts like the five we saw yesterday.
Question: Are you more comfortable in a spiritual ocean or roadway? What part of life feels like an ocean today?
Coffee Hours this Week:
Have questions about the challenges, do you want to meet others exploring the same content, or connect with Ryan?
Join us for our coffee shop drop-in tonight, Wednesay, October 30th from 7:30pm-9:00pm at the Starbucks in the Ajax Chapters. Look for Ryan Sim in the drink line, or a Redeem the Commute postcard on a table.
If you know in advance that you’re coming, please RSVP here
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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.