We killed so many trees to make all of the inserts for this week’s Sunday bulletin -- the thing was more of a book than a bulletin any more.
First off, we had our final “counting down to Sunday School” insert, reminding everyone that this would be a fantastic time to jump on board and join us. Every age group has classes designed just for them, and having just sat in on Peggy Peryam’s training session this past week, I can tell you that all of the teachers are excited to get going with what they’re teaching. I know that I’m looking forward to move on to the Renaissance in our Church History class, so come on in and be part of it all.
Secondly, we reminded everyone that this coming Sunday will be our annual Small Group Ministry Fair, showcasing the various small groups that our church family has to offer. Each of them is designed to be a safe, loving, and encouraging place, where people can grow closer to one another and closer to the Lord.
We also handed out a flier about our upcoming MOPS group, an outreach ministry focused on providing personal support and Biblical foundation for young mothers of preschoolers. If you’ve ever been a mother, I would encourage you to connect with Sara Uhler and Nikki Andrews about how you can potentially help out by sharing your experience with others as part of a community of faith.
Actually, we talked a little about that in our message this week, looking at consecration as an act of worship. See, “consecration” means “making things holy” (much like “sanctification”), but there’s a nifty little nuance to it -- to “consecrate” something, you have to make it holy as a community (that’s what the “con-” part is pointing to).
So is worship a community thing, or an individual thing? Is faith a community thing, or an individual thing? Is the Gospel a community thing, or an individual thing?
Time and again (such as in the section from Exodus that we looked at on Sunday), Scripture shows us that we were never called to be “lone wolves,” doing our Christianity in private, as individuals -- we were called to be part of a living, active, inter-active community, a family, a body of believers. To reduce it to a simply private faith is to forget that every part of the body needs every other part of the body to be healthy and strong.
Then again, too many other people think of their faith as little more than just an identification with a religious group (I’m Jewish if my family is Jewish, I’m Catholic if my family is Catholic, I’m Methodist if I regularly attend a Methodist Church, etc.). We act as if we think, “So long as someone in my group is doing ‘holy stuff,’ then that means that I’m okay...”
But the Bible shows us over and over again that we’re called to individually live out a real, genuine, personal faith... and to do so as active, sincerely involved members of a community of faith.
So where are you at on that continuum? On one end or another? Or kinda uninvolved on either end? Or consciously, actively trying to help your church develop everyone’s relationship with God, while you consciously, actively work on your own?