surely this is how it is supposed to be…

the following is an email i received from nick morrow…who is a part of our church.  he is right on and i just wanted to share it with everyone…so here goes:

tonite, at the [living] room, we cooked loads and loads of hotdogs and went around passing free meals out to anyone who wanted/needed it.  i was blown away at how many people were really excited at the prospect of a free dinner.  and we got to talk to people and meet a lot of people who we never met before.  it was just awesome. 

we’ve been working with social services in town, helping out the homeless shelters and domestic abuse centers and whatnot. and sadly, people are really surprised to see a church doing all this, and they ask why we do it.  and obviously the answer is, we are just trying to be like Jesus, do the things we think He wants us to. and i think most people are just so shocked to see people spending time and money and energy where there isn’t any (worldly) “return”…and that is the sad thing, is that a lot of churches seem to run like businesses these days, where people are seen as consumers and Jesus is the product, and there has to
be some sort of tangible “return” if there is going to be any sort of effort exerted. and any effort in relationships outside the church is always in the name of evangelism. and it tears me up, because that seems to me like it’s love with expectation, like loving people so that they’ll change.  and while i’m confident that Jesus wants to transform people, that isn’t why He
taught us to love- He wants us to love simply because God loves people and He wants us to do the same.  because man, it’d be terrible if Jesus only loved when He saw the opportunity of a “return” on His investment of love….none of us would be loved then, because we can’t give Jesus back what He offers us.

the most amazing thing to me, about all of this, is how pumped up i am right now.  i’d say i’m more excited about following Jesus right now than i ever have been after a church “service”.  it makes me wonder if what TLR did tonite was maybe closer to what Jesus had in mind for the church than traditional church services? don’t get me wrong,  i think communion and
teaching and music is all important at times, but if that is ALL it ever is, maybe the church is selling itself (way) short.  maybe that is the beginning, the place to gather, in order to overflow and go OUT and serve people, love people, get to know people, and take the Kingdom of Heaven to the places that look to us like hell…

everybody at TLR– let’s do this way more often! let’s be creative and fun about the ways we can serve and love our neighbors! and anyone who doesn’t go to the [living] room, but follows Jesus, i’d encourage you to go serve someone, be self-sacrificial like Jesus, without expecting any sort of return, and see how you feel afterward…it’s at least worth the
experiment….

-nick

4 thoughts on “surely this is how it is supposed to be…

  1. By giving we definitely receive. God is so good! By blessing others our lives are enriched and blessed. There is peace in helping and thru prayer we are led to bless others. God bless all of you who not only share the word but take the time out of your busy lives to find ways to help out others. Thank you to all who share the spirit of forgiveness and help others who are hurting

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  2. Interestingly our House Church recently picked up on a “project” that was believed to be a quick get in and get out thing, but it has developed into a monster or at least what we believed to be one. We embraced it though…. Instead of partnering with a missions org as many of our HC’s do we had elected 3-4 yrs ago to invest in our communities. We meet at two locations, rotating back and forth Speedway and Riverside in Indy. Our leader’s neighborhood had a nice elderly lady that had needed her home painted for some time and we took on the “project”. We thought it would be a 1/2 day project. We were wrong…… Saturday we began with immediately painting, but later found that scraping and pressure washing was required. What was a 1/2 day project is now a multi day project and we decided as a group to replace our Wednesday HC time with the project. It has been truly a joy to serve and we look forward to more of this. There are many things that have changed since the first century that I have been seeing snippets of changes, reversions back to intended way of Christ. Some examples: Service in Love instead of talking about service and talking about love, Communion in the context of a meal instead of a ceremony in the middle of church,etc. These are just a couple. While this is odd to some, it is truly refreshing. I pray continually for boldness and swift feet & hands in response to the Holy Spirit’s prompting for our HC as well as yours. My bro-in -law asked me if our church was a service project church on Saturday (of course he said it tongue-in-cheek) and I told him “no”. What I meant is that we do not see them as projects-this is what we are to be. FIRST-be, THEN-do. We are to be Christ, then do as Christ. Any way you reverse these two you miss the point….. Focusing on the act of service, you miss the point. If you say you want to be like Christ, but there is no response, no fruit the point is missed. In understanding the heart of Christ and responding to the Holy Spirit’s prompting you will likely find yourself in awkward situations where you will need His words, His Strength and His boldness to make it happen and accomplish His will. This is the intended purpose-to make it less about us and make it about Him and his glory, broadcasted to the world! In Christ-Jon Thomas (I am a member of Common Ground, but I hear a lot about your local body from my bro-in law, Brandon Andress)- Always in prayer for you….. sorry for the long email…..

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  3. I was not there to witness the cook out event.
    Reading this post, it seems that you guys really
    got out to a lot of people. Though I am a bit
    bothered by this excerpt,

    “i think most people are just so shocked to see people spending time and money and energy where there isn’t any
    (worldly) “return”…and that is the sad thing,
    is that a lot of churches seem to run like
    businesses these days, where people are seen as
    consumers and Jesus is the product, and there has
    to be some sort of tangible “return” if there is
    going to be any sort of effort exerted. and any
    effort in relationships outside the church is
    always in the name of evangelism.”

    This was really irrelevant when highlighting the
    success of the event. I’m not trying to be nasty,
    but I don’t think making assumptions about other
    churches is how it’s supposed to be.

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