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Church Small Groups

September 18, 2009

Most nights as I wind down before I go to bed, I read several blogs.  I know this is a crazy thought for many of you that have known me for a long time and understand that I am not a fan of this thing called “reading”.  (And yet I became a regular blogger…weird.)  Well anyway, last night as I was reading some blogs I came across a blog I read rather regularly by Carlos Whittaker.  He wrote a post (go read it) called Somethings Broken.  I tried to comment there, but something was messed up so, sorry Los, but it got my brain thinking and I’m jacking your topic.  (Not like it would hurt your readership or something like that!)

Small GroupsIn his post, Carlos talks about how churches try to get good Jesus loving people into church communities, but then getting them to focus on these groups too much and then pulling out of their secular communities as a result.  It is a good thing for Jesus loving people to find and be a part of a church community.  There they can learn and grow and strengthen others.  I believe we could all agree and say that anything with those results is a positive thing.  (Plus if we didn’t have them what would we do with all the graphics of paper people holding hands in a circle?)  But when we focus too much on our church communities and don’t involve ourselves in the secular communities, we are no longer doing what God has called us to do!  Look at the life of Jesus.  He had his church community (the disciples and friends) and then he was constantly creating and spending time in community with the hookers and robbers!

As a pastor, I realize that this is a tough thing to do sometimes.  How do you balance your church life with your secular life (not that they are different or separate, but you know what I mean)?  Many times the church is doing so much that it is hard to find time for a community outside of church.  For me, many times I’m too busy doing church that I can’t find time to get in a community outside of church.  But if we want to model our lives after Christ, we have to build those relationships.  We have to love those that “religion” pushes away.  We have to spend time with the prostitutes, junkies, and musicians (like that?  Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll?).  BUT!  We also have to realize that we aren’t just hanging out with them just to hang out with them.  There was a point to what Jesus was doing.  He was there to love them.  He was there to have an impact on their lives.  He wasn’t there to be cheesy or churchy.  He loved on them and they loved Him back.

Seems like a pretty good model to me.  So how do you balance between the two?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 18, 2009 3:36 PM

    It’s so hard for me because I work in the “secular world”. Literally sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Ok…at least the Rock ‘n’ Roll part. It’s so difficult to be a light to this world, but I do the best I can because I know it’s where Jesus has dropped me!!

  2. September 18, 2009 7:21 PM

    Just to mention secular, in the University I attend it is almost forbidden to talk about Jesus and right now a petition is going on to remove or hide the cross and a stained glass window in a room called the “chapel” in our memorial union (student union).

  3. dad permalink
    September 18, 2009 11:18 PM

    Great words….your brother has been saying this for some time. I have struggled with this for a long time. One of the reasons perhaps we have moved from the Bible belt. We are not group joiners but we are called to be in the world…

  4. September 20, 2009 8:15 PM

    Very interesting, Adam. For the second year in a row, our workplace has opted to have a “winter party” rather than a “Christmas party” for fear of offending some. Our Christmas parties were not religious before, but now we must even drop the name of Christ.
    To get back to the point made by Carlos, I remember a devout Christian woman and public school principal who was unequivocally opposed to Christian schools. She thought they should be allowed only because we live in a democracy, but she wanted no public funding for them and wanted parents who sent their children to Christian schools to continue to pay public school taxes. Her reasoning? The public schools needed the salt and light from the Christians.

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