As a small church needing encouragement

Fellowship with each other and fellowship with God

When we do believe in the Nazarene Jew Jeshua to be the Messiah and follow his teachings we know we have to go out in the world to tell them the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.

It would be nice if we can convince others of the importance of that man who was born in Bethlehem and can get them to understand that he is the Way to God and has to be our cornerstone in a faith society which follows the Biblical teachings instead of human teachings. When having contact with others it also would be nice when we can unite to a growing body, together finding time to study the Bible and to worship God.

From one Bible study group may come an other Bible study group and as such the church can grow. But to be able to grow it has to have that spirit, the fire of the Word of God burning in the hearts of many. When it is only burning in a few than it is very difficult to have a community staying in life and to have it growing.

With the knowledge that most people come to church because of a crisis or need we need to be open to hear their needs and have to try to help them and to provide solutions for them. We must see that just our small size can work into our advantage, because a small group (12-15 people) is the perfect environment for people to share such needs.  In fact, this is the size of group Jesus used for discipleship. Churches should focus more on offering ministry that helps people deal with crises in their life. {This was also found by Flavil Yeakley’s Ph.D. research at the University of Illinois which uncovered that many times such crises drive people to religion (and to visit churches) in search of answers, help and solace (Flavil R. Yeakley, Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the School of Communication [Champaign, IL: University of Illinois, 1976].)}

Living in a multicultural society we also do have to be open for and to create a multicultural group. Throughout the ages lovers of the Word of God came together in the tradition of Jesus his disciples and formed little communities or house churches. At those meetings all sorts of people were greeted and all tried to be in union with Christ his teachings. Today it is not different and those gathering in such private houses to come to study the Word of God, like to share the Good News with each other and would love to see their community also to grow.

When outsiders are afraid to come to such house churches or small churches they never shall come to know if they are really following God’s Words and if they are true lovers of God. They have no reason to be afraid. Though I understand they can be afraid of the intimacy or to having to show their real face. When they are afraid that such a small community can intimidate them they have no idea of what the big churches can do to them and have them side tracked by their human doctrines much easier than small groups.

When looking for the truth people should certainly not be afraid to meet small groups and to face a mosaic of cultures. Such amalgam of people can only enrich the group and gave enough diversified energy to the rise of a multicultural church.

Therefore, to help our churches grow in the most ways possible while recognizing the broadest variety of cultures, it is good to speak of multicultural churches. These are churches where people from several cultures (e.g. ethnic, affinity, socio-economic, etc.) learn to work together in one church. All forming such a diversified church should try to make everybody feel welcome and should treasure the respect to be shown to each other.

When the community opens its heart to those who want to come to meet it, it is the growing knowledge of the Word of God which shall sift out elements that run counter to Christ’s Good News while retaining elements that affirm it.

By reconnecting people to their loving heavenly father they shall feel His love growing inside and shall want to share it with others. God is the One Who calls and each individual has to answer or to ignore that call at their own responsibility. We only can try to help them to find the way to discover the truth.

Those gathering should not only reconnect with the Divine Creator but also with the people around them. This demands not only a lot of work but also courage and willingness to give to each other and to be open for each other.

Too much we see exclusion by many who call themselves Christian. They consider themselves a select and chosen group, outside of the rest of the world and having no intention to come closer to the rest of the world. By doing that they are excluding others also to come closer to them. This way those feeling they are set apart or ‘holy’ are making themselves that their community cannot grow.

A big problem today is that a lot of people do not recognise that we need unity events like picnics, hiking tours, open folk games, unity services, outreach ministry, service ministry, etc. . As a small church the group should not be afraid to come out in the open and show others they too are enjoying events in this world. They also should try to go more often to other brethren and sisters their ecclesia and exchange elders to come to give an exhortation or a bible study class.

A church service may not only be a private meeting with God but has to be about fellowship with each other and about fellowship with God. It is wrong to think that we should be providing separate areas (and aesthetics) for fellowship with God, and unified spaces (community rooms, unity events, etc.) for fellowship with each other.  We should know that every place is a place where God is and can be with His people. It is the attitude taken by the people gathered which shall decide a lot.

Because the purpose of worship is to draw close to God, this does not mean at the same time people can draw close to each other. At the service they should give each other to each other and feel united in Christ worshipping the same God. All having the same goal should find time for fellowship between humans whilst they are connecting together with God in their worship service wherever it takes place. The Hebrew word shachah, worship is “a close encounter with a king which fosters in reverence, respect and praise” (Whitesel, ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2011., p. 96), but that does not have to withhold the close encounter at the same time of like minded souls.

At the smallest place as at the biggest place prayers can be said, hymns can be sung, Bible texts can be read out load, sermons or exhortations can be offered, the bread and wine shared with each other.

But to succeed all gathering have to believe in it. They all have to feel that it is worthwhile to go together for the same goal. Each person has to get the feeling he or she means something special for the others in the group. And it is that feeling of specialness that each has to give to the other. Each individual has to feel ready to be a co-worker in that small group and be willing to encourage those around them present, but also those who are doubting to come and meet the small group.

As long as the outsiders are afraid of small groups for whatsoever reason, they shall miss the opportunity to feel the richness a small group can give. Why do you not encourage them more to come and join those who want to be as brothers and sisters in Christ?

+

Preceding articles:

Overcome division with core values

Is your church small?

a little church

The Big Conversation

The Big Conversation follow up

The Big conversation – Antagonists

The Big conversation – Recognition and refocus

Having a small church mentality

Reasons why you may not miss the opportunity to go to a Small Church

++

Additional reading

  1. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  2. Blind leading the blind
  3. Blaming their circumstances for what they are
  4. It is a free will choice
  5. The big agenda item
  6. Happiness mapping and getting over gender mapping
  7. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  8. Sincerity not a test of truth
  9. Humility and the Fear of the Lord
  10. Necessity of a revelation of creation 14 Searching the scriptures
  11. Pain, sanctification and salvation
  12. Rejoicing in the day
  13. Be holy
  14. Exceeding Great and Precious Promise
  15. Being sure of their deliverance
  16. Give your worries to God
  17. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust
  18. God Feeds The Birds
  19. Finding our identity in serving God
  20. Acknowledge the majesty of the Lord’s reputation!
  21. Worship God only
  22. For Jehovah is greatly to be praised
  23. Make a joyful noise unto Yahweh, rejoice, and sing praise unto Jehovah
  24. True riches
  25. A Breath for tomorrow
  26. Be vigilant with a view to prayers
  27. On the Affirmation of Scripture
  28. Refurbished ecclesia site

+++

Further reading

  1. A major problem in the church.
  2. Questioning our Individualism and its Affect on the Church – Ephesians 4:1-16
  3. Church growth starters
  4. Dear Church, We’ve Moved. Love, Your Kids…
  5. November 8, 2015
  6. Why Churches Must Plant Churches That Plant Churches (Part II)
  7. Incognito Zone: Where the Church Is Booming
  8. Walking In Relationship With Other
  9. If It’s All About Relationship…

+++

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “As a small church needing encouragement

Geef een reactie - Give a reaction

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s