Committed to Jesus and to each other

| Zack Newsome | | 5 Comments

This weekend, the community of faith I am a part of had a community garage sale to raise money for a friend of ours in need.  It was a LONG weekend, but a really good one.  In fact one of the best in the six+ months our little band of friends has been gathering.  It was a good one because the garage sale was a beautiful glimpse into what the early church must have been like.  Here we were, a group of friends committed to each other, hawking our junk for a small profit all in the names of compassion and generosity.  It wasn't easy –  we must have spent at least 15 hours or so together (most of that in the 100-degree heat). But it was good.  In fact it was probably more fulfilling that any other church experience I have ever had.  And for the past 24 hours I have been trying to figure out why.

The best answer I can come up with is that I experienced a deeper committment than I have ever experienced before from those I "church with".  See, I have seen a deep committment to each other before inchurches I have been a part of, but usually that committment was really to the institution of the church.  People committed themselves to the organization, much like they would a country club, a home owner's association, a political party, or a fraternity.  In our community, there is no formal organization to commit ourselves to – no institution to make sure "survives" year-after-year, no "we-will-do-anything-to-make-sure-we-succeed" organization to buy into.  Our community is a bunch of friendships connected to each other by a collective interest in the ways of Jesus.  Our committment is to Jesus and to each other.  We are discovering the beauty of such a thing.

I wonder if that is a major reason that the church seems to be impotent in America. I wonder if we are leading people to commit themselves – their finances, their talents, their time – to an organization.  I wonder how the average American must view that.  I wonder if the average American misses Jesus in the church because he's clouded by organization.  I wonder if giving is perceived as dues.  I wonder if "congregational meetings" are seen as council meetings.  I wonder if evangelism is seen as recruitment.  I wonder if meeting community needs are seen as dutiful philanthropy.  

We wonder why Americans have trouble finding passion about their faith. 


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