Pledging Ourselves To Live Worthy Lives

When our simple church gathered this week Bill brought a copy of Dr. Darrell Bock’s Studying the Historical Jesus. He wanted to share a quote by Pliny the Younger from a letter written in A.D. 110/111.

In regards to the practices of the early church Pliny wrote:

“They had been accustomed to come together on a fixed day before daylight and to sing responsively a song to Christ as God. They bound themselves with an oath—not to commit some crime—but, on the contrary, that they would not commit theft, nor robbery, nor adultery, that they would not break faith, nor refuse to return a deposit when asked for it. When they had done these things, their custom was to separate and to assemble again to partake of a meal, common yet harmless.”

Here are some things we unpacked from that quote:

  • they were accustomed to coming together on a fixed day
  • they worshiped Christ as God
  • they were accountable to one another to live godly lives
  • they participated in life together through meals

Georges Boujakly at Missional Order recently posted about Ethical Relativism and he writes:

“New converts and long time converts, researchers tells us, are not shining stars of holiness, reflecting the image and glory of Christ. Instead of being conformed to His image, being changed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), many have adopted a willing conformity to the world.”

We get together regularly, worship Christ and eat a lot, but how good are we at holding one another accountable to live Christ-like lives?

How much of an impact would we have on society if we pledged ourselves to live lives worthy of Christ when we leave our gatherings? What would such a practice look like in our church meetings?

Grace and peace,

Terry

Related Posts:

Church – The Household Of God

Running out the front door he followed me to my car. Not many of the words coming from his little mouth were intelligible but one was distinct, “church.” I thought he was asking if the church was meeting that night and I said that we would get together later in the week.

A few months later his vocabulary had improved. Spying some bottles of soft drink on the kitchen cabinet he asked, “Church, can I have some of that?”

Looking at him with inquisitiveness I replied, “What’s my name?”

Without hesitation he said, “Church.”

I’ve been called a lot of things, but church is one of the most unique and I kind of like it.

One of the things we have tried to do in our simple church is to change our language about church. We are trying to replace, “We’re going to church” with “the church is meeting at David’s house” or “The church is meeting in the park.”

For too long we have thought of church as a building. We have made it some place we go on Sunday. I think it is time we recapture the concept that the followers of Jesus are the church. We are the people of God. We are the body of Christ.

Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:14-15 NIV

Waving as he came through the door the other day, Johnny looked at me said, “Hi, Church.”

I have a challenge for you. Change the way you talk about meeting with your church family. Replace “We’re going to church” with “the church is meeting at …”

Grace and Peace,

Terry

You Are Loved and You Belong Here Now

Running to the door, his little voice shrieks in delight with, “Hi, Bill.” He’s only two years old and the friend at the door is more than 50 years his senior but the love in the greeting cannot be missed. He truly is excited and pleased that Bill is in the room. The fact that the best place to practice the one another’s of the New Testament is in small relational settings is demonstrated again. Both know they belong in this place now.

In four different places we are told that when the church gathers we are to “greet one another with a holy kiss” (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Peter 5:14).

The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house. All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. – 1 Corinthians 16:19-20  NIV

The “greet” part of these verses is universal for all the believers. The “kiss” part is cultural. We should always greet each other in ways that are culturally acceptable. The “holy” part points to our unity – we have all been set apart and belong to God’s family. No one should be left out.

The central idea is that we are in a special relationship with other members of the church and should act accordingly. Our greetings should demonstrate that we are truly brothers and sisters in Christ and convey that:

  • you are loved
  • you are needed
  • you are cared about
  • you are accepted
  • you are wanted
  • you belong

Our meeting and even our eating will be meaningless if we do not do things God’s way and lovingly “greet one another.” Do you have any “greeting” stories to share?

Grace and Peace,

Terry

What can a 12 year old boy bring to a church gathering? How about a trombone?

He’s in his first year of band and has only been playing the trombone for 8 months. He was practicing for a solo piece for his next band concert and his dad suggested that he play the song at one of our church meetings. He agreed.

On Sunday he brought his trombone and his dad brought some words he had put together to sing with the song. Together they presented the music and we sang along. It was a great experience.

He said that every time he plays the piece, he now thinks about the words that his dad helped him put to music. The church will do life together with this family when we go to his band concert. We will think of those words too, as we sing in our hearts.

The church was edified, the boy was encouraged, a father and son bonded. . .

What other insights do you find in this story that relates to the family of God?

Grace and Peace,

Terry

5 Questions To Ask Before Meeting With Your Church

Are you bringing anything to your church meetings other than your body? Many times we think only about receiving something for ourselves when we gather with our church or small group. But do you ever think about bringing something to share?

You can’t “one another” by yourself.

One of the hallmarks of simple church meetings should be mutual sharing. These together times are wonderful opportunities for us to practice the one another scripture passages we find in our Bibles. The term “one another” implies within itself the concept of sharing because you can’t “one another” by yourself.

Here are 5 questions to ask before you gather with your church or small group.

  1. What can I bring that will help us center on Christ’s Lordship
  2. What can I bring that will help us build up Christ’s body
  3. What can I bring that will help us participate in Christ’s mission
  4. What can I bring that will help us grow as Christ followers
  5. What can I bring that will help us extend Christ’s Kingdom

Other than a plate of brownies, what will you bring to your next church meeting?

Any thoughts or ideas?

Grace and Peace,

Terry

A Short Video About Missional Communities

The word missional is being tossed around a lot right now. I even mentioned living missionally on my “about page”. The video below is Scott McKnight giving a little insight about what it is to be a missional community.

It’s only about 2 minutes long so have your coffee cup full. It won’t take you long to watch this so just look around the blog here while you finish your coffee break.

Any thoughts or comments?

He who receives you receives me [Jesus], and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. – Matthew 10:40 NIV

Grace and Peace,

Terry