I beg your indulgence as I switch hosting providers for Clapham Community. The same great content, encouragement, and insight you have enjoyed for years will be back very shortly. In the meantime, feel free to browse through the archives for an oldie goldie.
Archive for August 30, 2011
“The critical question for our generation—and for every generation—is this:
If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?
And the question for Christian leaders is: Do we preach and teach and lead in such a way that people are prepared to hear that question and answer with a resounding No?”
—John Piper, God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself (Wheaton, I: Crossway, 2005), p. 15.
HT: Justin Taylor
I have heard many studies that have spoken to the issue of increasing social isolation in Americas. One of the more interesting ones was conducted back in 2006 by Lynn Smith-Lovin, a sociologist at Duke University. The Washington Post cited findings from this landmark study:
“Whereas nearly three-quarters of people in 1985 reported they had a friend in whom they could confide, only half in 2004 said they could count on such support. The number of people who said they counted a neighbor as a confidant dropped by more than half, from about 19 percent to about 8 percent.
The results, being published today in the American Sociological Review, took researchers by surprise because they had not expected to see such a steep decline in close social ties.”
It’s time for the body of Christ to be the family Jesus has called us to and to reach out to our increasing isolated culture.
Creating Community Is A Game Of Inches
I love the game of football. It has everything you could wish for in a sport. Of all the things I have learned about the game, one of the most important is that it is a game of inches. There are big plays occasionally where a quarterback will pass for 30 or 40 yards, or a running back will find a hole and run for 50+ yards but, the majority of the plays go yard by yard.
Creating creating community is also a game of inches. One of the main reasons for this is that it requires change and change, especially in the church, doesn’t come easy. Your resolve to see community happen in your church may be realized in a painstakingly slow manner but you have to keep in mind that slow progress is progress nonetheless.
This is hard for me. I like to come in like a bull in a china shop and really stir things up. I want people to see how right I am. I want to be the coach that calls for the QB to throw for 50 yards. I am learning that this is not a wise way to live.
The best way is to look at the few yards that lie before you. Is there a need? Who can I be family to today? What grace can I show someone else today? These are the questions I need to ask myself. Oh, I still pray that God will give me that great touchdown opportunity, but in the meantime my business is just advancing the ball.