this has to be our mantra and our standard as we move forward or we will die, “tell the truth in love…and receive the truth in love.” the foundation of this has to be trust. for example..because i trust that all of you love me and care about my spiritual growth…i can trust you when you need to tell me the truth about myself. if i am acting in ways that are not Christ-like…i need you to tell me. as we fully internalize the concept of continually “taking off the old and putting on the new,” we have to accept that one of the ways that that is realized is through telling and receiving the truth in love.
no one in our community is perfect. i know that is profound and hard to grasp…but we just aren’t. but somehow we really get knots in our stomach when we think about telling someone the truth. why is that? most of the time…we are afraid that the other person is going to get hurt or hacked off…right? other times we may simply feel like it is not our individual obligation to do so. and maybe other times we just feel like we are coming off too “high and mighty” and avoid the matter. the interesting thing is that Jesus (in Matthew 18:15)…does not put caveats in his very direct statement that, “if another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the fault.” there are no conditions. we do it…it is the norm…and we have to live this way. now…
this week we spent some time flying high at the 30,000 foot level…looking at where we are at, what we currently know, and how we will be moving forward in relation to the [living] room. let me reiterate the things we discussed tonight:
1. pray first…act second. we need to listen to God and not rush things. this involves patience from everyone. this may be quite counter-cultural…but it is the right thing. we don’t move forward and then ask God to bless what we have decided…but instead we listen and then act.
2. from an organizational perspective: we are placing a high priority on house churches, sharing Christ with our community through frequent interactions/outreach/partnerships, and large weekly gatherings.
3. from a leadership perspective: scott hoover is our elder. brandon andress is developing our church culture and the large sunday gatherings. kwin abram will be working with house churches and house church leaders. ryan edgecomb will be working to help individuals and house churches strategically outreach and build bridges in the community. on a short-term basis, scott, brandon, and rob taylor will be coordinating the weekly teaching.
this church is not about a handful of people…but ALL of us…coming together…using the gifts that God has given us. it is our hope that every one of you will pray about ways that you can use your talents, gifts, and abilities and begin doing it. if we are truly a church that empowers people at the grassroots level to embrace and dream about ways to change the world…it is going to take individuals accepting that challenge and making it a reality. it doesn’t necessarily take people asking you to do it…
4. things that are unknown that we are praying for: *a teaching leader. *children’s education and growth overall leader. *long-term meeting location for our large gatherings (striving for a 24/7 location).
next week when we gather together…we will be worshipping together, spending time discussing our church values and goals, praying together and taking communion together, and just enjoying each other. i pray that as we continue to move forward that these words will become more than just words…but who we are…what we are becoming…and what we continue to strive for.