Tag Archives: home group

Go Ahead…Be The Bow Guy

“I had the privilege of being one of the speakers at a Discipleship conference not too long ago,” said a member of our home group the other day during a group discussion, “and the guy who introduced me said something to the crowd about the fact that I also happen to be a bow hunter, and that I make bows as a hobby.”

“From then on,” he continued, “for the remainder of the conference, I became the ‘bow guy’. Everyone who came up to me wanted to talk bow hunting, or bows in general. Nobody wanted to talk about Jesus.”

He said all of this stemming from a question that was asked within our home group on: Where do we find our identity, our self-worth? To what do we base our value; with others, and with God?

My friend was disappointed that the only thing people seemed to take away from his appearance at the conference was not his words on discipleship, not his relationship with Jesus or that he was a pastor of a seemingly influential church, but only that he was the ‘bow guy’. To him, in that setting, the ‘bow guy’ became his identity.

Of course, as he was confessing this, heads nodded all around our small group. Murmurs arose of, “yeah, that’s unfortunate”, “too bad”, and “people can be so shallow”.

I got to thinking though, who exactly was it who missed the opportunity here? Continue reading Go Ahead…Be The Bow Guy

Storms, Seasons, and That Occasional Sinking Feeling

photo courtesy howstuffworks.com
photo courtesy howstuffworks.com

2 Corinthians 1: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

Yeah, this post may be a little text heavy, if you can have such a thing in a Biblically based, Christian-centered, inspirational blog post-type setting . . . thingy.  You see, it seems like I’m wrestling with a bit of a confidence issue this week.  I’m going through a season of feeling very much like I’m not worthy to be called a follower of Jesus, a Christian, a Child of God.

It’s not that I’ve royally screwed up on anything in particular, although I’ve been known to do that in the past.  No, it’s more like the overwhelming feeling of coming before God in prayer and supplication, petitioning Him on a particular need, and thinking . . .

“What right do I have to ask God for . . . anything?”
“What makes you think God is even interested in what you have to say, let alone whatever measly need you may have?”
“What in the world am I doing?”

Well . . . Continue reading Storms, Seasons, and That Occasional Sinking Feeling

Frenemies of Christ ~ Repost from Gary Shogren

I thought this was a great post on what exactly “church” is (and isn’t) , and why we do church in the first place.

Church: "EVERY-body's invited!"
Church: “EVERY-body’s invited!”

Have you met the guy who says:

Yes, I’m a follower of Jesus, but I’m not a “churcher.” I have fellowship with my Christian friends, we pray

together, we talk over coffee, we discuss the Bible, we have a commitment to hold each other accountable. These guys are my “church.” And they are more serious than regular church members about their faith. Doesn’t that fulfill God’s expectation that I meet with other believers? [1]

By all means, get together with other believers. Church is not what you do for an hour on Sunday morning. On the other hand, being the church must include a regular, open meeting with all types of believers who draw together at a predetermined place and time. Meeting with a friend requires a special invitation; everyone is invited to the church meeting.

Sociologists and students of brain chemistry have proven that, no matter how broad-minded we think we are, “like” gravitates to “like”. It’s not in our nature to feel comfortable around people of different personalities or education or politics or level of spiritual zeal, and our brain is hardwired to resist diversity. This is why it’s a constant battle if any group survives without breaking into cliques or splitting up. It’s a miracle, literally, how any church can stick together.

At church you run into those you like, those you don’t, people you look down on and people with whom you connect. When you pull back from a non-homogeneous assembly (Community Church, let’s say) and pour your energy into people who are like you (St. Arbucks, if you will), you are sifting through God’s people and selecting out those with whom you have empathy. And it is at that point that we might swallow a misunderstanding about the gospel.

This verse sounds way too harsh to apply to this scenario, but hear me out: Continue reading Frenemies of Christ ~ Repost from Gary Shogren

Discipleship, Relationship, & the One Thing

discipleshiftSitting at lunch the other day, surrounded by pastors from Idaho, central Washington and western Oregon, on a break from one of the two day-long sessions that make up Real Life Ministries’ “DiscipleShift training, I asked them what was the one thing they hoped that both they and their groups got out of the training and ideas behind DiscipleShift*.

Unanimously the answers revolved around “relationship”.

“I came with a group of pastors,” said one, “some on paid staff, some volunteer, who’ve worked with each other for years but who know very little about one another beyond the fact that we’re all co-workers.  It’s all very surface and superficial.

“And it’s really through no one’s fault,” he continued. “I mean, everyone is busy with their lives, their families, their jobs; but there’s been no intentionality of relationship with each other.  It seems like there’s never been the time, because it’s never been a priority.”

Intentionality of relationship—a recurring them, and one of the central focuses of DiscipleShift: the need to create a core group of people who you can trust and respect; who you can “do life together” with; who you can pour into each other both the Word of God and the significance of a lasting bond.

But what does that look like? Continue reading Discipleship, Relationship, & the One Thing