Hey dear church! I have a question for you. Whenever you have a personal problem, where do you go for help? For example, where do you go for help when your marriage isn’t going the way you would expect? Where do you go when parenting is exceptionally hard? Or you’re battling anxiety and you feel trapped? Or anger seems to be a constant companion and you’ve damaged relationships at home or at work? Where do you go when you need help thinking biblically about your finances, relationships, or any number of other things? Who are the trusted people in your life that you confide in, confess to, and have given the permission to say hard things at times?
To be honest, for me there was a time when the answer to those questions would have been, “I need to seek professional counseling;” or “I need to talk to an expert.” But, as I look back on the last 17 years of following Christ the most impactful people in my life have been ordinary people that I have been in community with. (This is not to say that there is no room for specialized counseling or seeking people that have experience in certain fields from time to time, but we are not dependent upon them.) My fellow brother and sisters in my local church are not necessarily experts, but they certainly have loved me, pursued godliness, and have been devoted to God’s will as its revealed in scripture.
This is one of the reasons why I’m excited about our upcoming Missional Community book study of Side by Side, written by Ed Welch. The book begins with the assumption that “God is pleased to use ordinary people, ordinary conversations, and extraordinary and wise love to do the heavy lifting in His Kingdom.” Church do you believe that statement? Do you believe that the work of the ministry is still assigned to all of us as a local church—to ordinary Christians? We hope and pray that you do.
And if you feel somewhat intimidated about being weak and needy in front of others, listen to what Ed says: “If you feel quite weak and ordinary…if you feel like a mess but have the Spirit…you have the right credentials. You are one of the ordinary people God uses to help others.” What a glorious endeavor the Lord has called us to! This is the Pilgrim’s Way where as sojourners we lock arms and make the journey to heaven together. Along the way we’ll see that the path is rough and very hard at times—but as we walk with integrity, honesty, and transparency the path will become brighter, and the fellowship sweeter.
As I mentioned on Sunday, the book is divided into two parts:
Part 1: “We are Needy”— helps us learn what it looks like to be needy in community and not needy while alone, which is very often our reality. We try and deal with our struggles by ourselves or we go outside the church away from ones who love us and seek help from people who are not in community with us.
Part 2: “We are Needed”— is helpful because it reminds us of who we are and who already lives inside of us (the Holy Spirit) and supplies us with the necessary tools to be disciples who make disciples. Each chapter ends with discussion questions that will be great to work through in our MC’s.
Dear church, lets walk in the light as He is in the light so that our joy may be full! Please remember to bring $10 (check or cash) to your next MC, and please let a pastor know if you cannot afford the book so we can provide one for you. We’ll start the second week of February!
On behalf of the Pastors,