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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This week we’re exploring the importance of meeting regularly with other Christians, as part of a church community, like Redeemer Church, the one we are forming through Redeem the Commute.
The Bible passage we’re exploring this week suggests two purposes to gathering: Encouragement and Worship. We’ll focus on worship next week, and for this week we’ll focus on the encouragement part.
Encouragement to what? Hebrews says community can encourage us to love and good works. First, what would it mean to be encouraged to love in a community? Think of the relationships that form through fun and fellowship. Our Movie Night is one example – we had a great time, and some online members met one another, and a neighbourhood. Our Wings & Trivia was the same, and our Christmas Event will be, too.
Honestly, are churches are meant to get along. I know someone who went to a church and attended a few worship services, and decided to join. But first, they wanted to attend a business meeting of a church – and he walked away saying, “these people don’t believe what they say.” They were not charitable, loving, kind or generous at all, even though they claimed to believe in a God who is.
The Church is meant to be a preview of the kingdom of God. It’s described in the Bible as a party – like we are already in heaven.
The Church is meant to love one another as themselves…even though the rest of the world may not love them the same way.
The Church is meant to care for one another with generosity of Christ, who died for his friends.
We could go on, but it all starts with spending time together, knowing each other’s needs, hopes, dreams, routine and more. Some people like to call this, “doing life together” even though it’s a bit clichéd.
Question: Go out for lunch, drinks or coffee with someone. When can you get together with your discussion group simply for fun? Or if you don’t have one yet, think of who you could share our challenges and discussion with, and start by simply inviting them to something fun.
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.