Friday, January 21, 2011

Pity the man who falls and has no one to pick him up

Recently I have been assessing my relationship with Christ. I feel that this is something that is necessary with every follower, on a frequent basis. As I considered it there are some passages of Scripture that I believe come together to point to a way that our relationship should work. I highly doubt any of this is revolutionary, however I do feel obligated to share.

When the Bible talks about people doing things, they are typically doing them in pairs. From Genesis in the beginning with Adam and Eve (Gen. 2:18), to the disciples (Luke 10:1) and Paul's ministry (Acts 13:4) going out by two. This concept of it's not good for man to be alone, is not simply for emotional well being. I believe this is for spiritual well being. This concept of the accountability partner. Think about it. When we are surrounded by Christ followers we are going to be digging deeper, drawing closer to Christ. We need this fellowship in order to have a deeper relationship with Christ.

When I say fellowship though we aren't talking about our current modern idea of fellowship, where we all get together "to relax and enjoy ourselves." The fellowship that I speak of is New Testament fellowship, where believers met together to worship God, through song and the studying of Scriptures. They enjoyed doing this so much, they found such joy in this, that worshipping was their fellowship, it wasn't all fun and games like modern Christianity has turned it into.

As Christians, if we could grasp the need to hold each other accountable, the idea of being in constant connection with Christ, no telling the change we could make.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Faith Without Works, well that just ain't happenin'

In case you didn't know, the title is from a Rich Mullins song.
Secondly, this is indirectly about faith, not an entire post about faith.

So I'm currently reading a book, it's popular, though I don't really care for you to know what it is, because it really isn't necessary to know what I'm reading at the moment.

Here is the deal though, and I wrote about this two years ago, but in a different setting, so continue reading after the next paragraph, cause I promise you, this is different.

There are a lot of good books out there, however if we as Christians aren't actively seeking the Scriptures and putting them into practice, what makes us think that reading a book is going to change that?

Maybe reading a book is what will change your mind, give you that jolt to change. However, more than likely you are going to get a spiritual high, much like the church camp high and then four months later be looking for the next new book to put you back in line. That's why every four to six months some new book that is going to revolutionize your Christian walk comes out. But they are needed, because for some reason the current believers think that this is one of the few ways they will suddenly draw closer to Christ, that or through worship, or a dynamic speaker to name a few.

So what am I saying here really? Following Christ, this faith that we supposedly have, first off is a choice. We aren't going to experience one of those three things I have listed above and become a true follower of Christ. No something has to take place between those two things happening and that is known as a choice. We have to choose to change, and then stick to that commitment. But for some reason as Christians we don't want to. We may try for a little while, and maybe even reach a deeper walk with Christ, but then it's like we mark the notch in our belt and go back to our old lifestyle.

Here's the deal, we are called to a life of change. Not a moment of change. So in essence faith without works, it just isn't happening: meaning, it's not a one time deal, it's not going to the salvation army and making food boxes, it's not helping with disaster relief, it's not donating to a homeless shelter.

What it is, is taking what we read in the Bible (because it has to start there, you can't start with something you read from a book, after all, how do you know if what you read in that book is Bible based) and making it a part of your lifestyle. And technically it shouldn't even be referenced as your lifestyle it should be referenced as Christ's lifestyle that you are trying to live (as Christians that is).

So here's the deal, please don't rant to me about how amazing the book you are reading is and how it revolutionizes what you think, until A. You are living out what the Bible teaches and B. You actually show me how that book you have read has truly revolutionized your life.

Am I saying that I'm to that point? Where I'm living out the Bible, no not at all. But I can tell you that until you are living daily (that's the hard part for me) what the Bible teaches, everything that you read in outside books, will be worth a fraction of what its worth when you are truly living Christ's lifestyle.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Questions about Church

I was recently asked the following list of questions, below each question was my response. I felt like this was something that everyone could benefit from.

I am looking for some input on college ministry. I never even was in a youth group or college ministry. I wasn’t in church at that time of my life.
If you have a few minutes, could you answer a few questions….as many or as few as you can.
Thank you. You just don’t know how much I appreciate it.

1. When you went to college, what kept you in church? Or what took you from church?
(that hottie, your parents couldn’t tell you what to do anymore, didn’t want to get up, my friends were going, just wanted to go….whatever it was)

1. I stayed in church because it was an every Sunday thing. It was my lifestyle (originally). It wasn't until about 4 months into the "finding a church" process that I developed my true reason for staying in church, which you will find in #2

2. If you went, what pulled you to that church?

2. I ended up at London because it was a place where I could not only learn (you can learn wherever you are as long as you are willing) but I also had the opportunity to invest in the church as well (which is the real reason why we should be a part of a church). London runs a split worship service (half hymns/ half contemporary) is welcoming to all visitors (seriously) and has opportunities to invest back into the congregation on several levels.

3. What would bring you to a service?
Cool worship, alternative, contemporary, hymns, none at all?
The time….Sunday morning, one evening, an afternoon….?
3. I personally believe that "church services" should involve the entire church, from the age of accountability into senior citizens. Time of day, or day of the week doesn't matter to me as long as if it is what is known as a traditional church service, it involves the entire church. I do not believe that a College service should ever replace a church service, though I do believe it is a good supplementation to use as a way to help ease college students back into the church (over 78% of students right now have been involved in church in the past for more than 6 months at a time).

I personally enjoy a more modern service, however recently I have come to notice that more services are becoming a show than a gathering of believers. When we reach this state in the church it is no longer what is meant to be.

4. Was it important that someone from the ministry made you feel like they cared?
4. It is extremely important that every member of the body of believers feels welcome. If members of the body do not feel welcome then the body is not living what it is teaching (unless of course it is teaching segregation, which is a sin).

5. Does age matter?
Anything else you want to share……
5. Every group of believers should at least have a group of older believers in order to train the next generation of believers into action. If you are missing this, then you lack the wisdom and direction that every body of believers needs.