32611 Connecting with God’s Family

When you invited Jesus into your life, you became a part of God’s family! It doesn’t matter what color your skin is; how smart you are; what kind of job you have; if you are a man, woman, teenager, or child; or how much money or stuff you have …you are part of the family …

32636 Forgive One Another

“Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. Even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times returns to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” – Luke 17:3-5 Most of us are probably like the apostles in the Luke passage above. In hearing …

32635 Be Joyful and Demonstrate Sacrificial Love

Joyful, sacrificial love. Love that doesn’t make sense. The verses above are woven together by this thread of humble, selfless, freely given love. In the clip from Les Miserables, the Bishop freely gives away his wealth for the sake of a stranger he calls “brother.” The joy of that sacrifice astounds the stranger, Jean Valjean, who …

32634 Live in Harmony and Be Humble Toward One Another

Jostling is part of what makes a crowd a crowd. We push back to keep our place in line, to stand our ground, or to reach our destination. Jostling, while not physical, can be part of advancing our careers, making our point, or just looking out for ourselves. We are often both the jostlers and …

32633 Love One Another

No concept has catalyzed the production of more music, poetry, art, writing, or film than love. From highbrow artistic creations to playground rhymes to marketing campaigns to pharmaceuticals to our most cherished dreams and aspirations, love, and our human experience of it, is undeniably center stage. Love, it turns out, is also central to God, Jesus, faith, and being …

32632 Encourage, Instruct, and Spur On One Another

A congregation does not thrive on a foundation of superstars. The passages below call everyone into the foundational work of building each other up. It is not solely the leaders’ work. In the Church everyone encourages, teaches, and motivates everyone else, and should do so with the warmth and equality of teammates. No one in our congregations …

32631 Being the Church to One Another

Have you ever walked into a full elevator and, instead of turning toward the door, remained facing your fellow occupants? People in elevators, like people in many other contexts, follow particular unspoken rules. Congregations are no different, each having beautifully (and sometimes not so beautifully) characteristic ways of relating that are specific to that church. …

32623 A Practical Guide for Finding a Church

These guidelines are designed to get you started on the discernment process. Since the decision to commit to a church involves both discernment and process, you know it’s not simple and it takes time! Use the church’s website, their printed documents, what you observe while in their space, and tactful conversations with real people to help you check items …

32622 Discernment in Finding a Church

Discernment is hard work. Given the other stresses of transitions, we easily replace discernment with the more efficient church-shopping. If Amazon sold churches, we could just read customer reviews and select the one everybody likes best! This is the tricky part—how to make wise decisions but not fall back into a consumerist mindset? How can …

32621 Finding a Church

How to Avoid Church-Shopping but Still Decide on a Church “What’s the most I can get for my money?” Whether it’s a return on an investment or looking for the best deal on a product, this question is central to a consumer mindset. Not a bad question to avoid wasting resources, but it’s a terrible question to …