Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Our Core Practices

"As a Christ-follower, what are the core practices that give expression to your faith?" This was the question posed at our last Simple Church gathering. Behind the question was the understanding that the principle way in which we learn about God and his ways and grow as Christ-followers, is through experience. This seems to be the priority Jesus adopted with his disciples. Whereas the Church has tended to focus upon believing the right things, Jesus spoke a lot about living the right way. He not only spoke about it, he modeled it in his own life and expected his disciples to follow his example.

This is not to diminish the importance of orthodox faith but to also recognize the importance of what James was communicating when he said, 'I will show you my faith by my works' [James 2:18] Our plan over the coming weeks is to focus upon one item each week and prayerfully reflect upon what Jesus teaches and how we might seek to grow in this personally and as a community. Jesus gives a dire warning about those who hear his teaching but fail to put it into practice (see Matt 7:26-27). But then again to be doers of the word brings great wisdom and strength into our lives.

So, here's the list (in no particular order, just how they came out);
  1. Hospitality (connecting with people, even @ the pub)
  2. Listening & Contemplation (to God and one another)
  3. Prayer (through the day)
  4. Loving One Another (especially in the area of "accountability")
  5. Growing Self & Growing Others
  6. Serving Others ("no strings attached")
  7. Creative Expression (of our gifts & talents)
We also talked about Worship and felt that in a sense, all of the above represents our worship to God. Interestingly no-one mentioned "going to church". I was pleased about that. Looks like we are grasping the truth that 'Church' is more about who we are than what we do.

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