Monday, January 3, 2011

A Place of Protection When You Have to Crawl

Quite often I question my abilities to lead other people. I am constantly wondering if I am doing the right thing as a mother, as a wife, as a friend, as a journey group leader, and as a small group leader. I am sure I mess up more times than I know. There are times when the reactions of the ones I lead leave me bewildered and discouraged. There are times when I do not get the result I expected. An example would be when we told Abi and Austin the truth about Santa this year. Other parents would and have said that we are crazy for telling them, we should have let them continue to believe for just a little longer. Another example would be starting new studies in small group. The group looks as though they are on fire and can't wait to start the new study. I spend time preparing for the study that I could have spent playing with my kids, goofing off with Mark, or even shopping...then no one shows up to group, they're too busy.

This past Sunday JT, our college pastor, preached a sermon titled "One Boat". It really renewed my commitment to the communities that I belong to. The questions that started the sermon were: "What is a Christian? What is a Church? and What is a Community?" By the end of the sermon, I got the notion that they are really one in the same. What I took away from the message is that I was created and crave a community of friends to go through life with. One of the highlights in the bulletin was this message: You were created for a community by a God who describes himself with PLURAL PRONOUNS. It is even written in His word: The Lord God said, "It is not good for man to be alone. -Genesis 2:18

The closing of the message is what really hit home for me. Others will be drawn to Christianity not necessarily by my words, or just my actions. Others will be drawn to Christianity when they see the community that I have with fellow believers. The outward appearance isn't what it's all about either. In my community, I can come and confess my struggles and "spiritually vomit" all my emotional junk that I have been carrying around. In the message JT said something to the effect of 'when you're carrying around your junk, then you're not functioning the way God intended you to, and the group suffers'. Now there is no question in my mind that I was made to be part of a community. That is how God has made me. If I get too busy and stop contributing to the group, then I am not living the way God has intended me to live. I am not allowing others to see God work in my life. I am 'too busy' to be a Christian. My favorite part of the sermon had to be when JT gave the definition of the word 'Idiot'. The word is derived from another word defined as "someone who CHOOSES to live outside of the community". I guess the moral of the story is that I do not want to be an idiot!!

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