Prostrate. Repentance. Praise.
These are proper responses to God.
I thank God for my dear sister Stephanie Atkins Arnett who regularly challenges me with her bias toward love in action. She asked a question that reminded me of the believers’ response to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit during Pentecost in Acts 2:37,
“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?'”
In a previous post, I admonished us as a church, declaring that we have a problem.
The problem is we don’t love each other.
Sister Stephanie replied,
“You cited a challenge of our community…
Several have accepted the premise…
My question to you… what are actionable steps we can take, in addition to prayer?”
Thank you, dear sister, for that question and challenge!
This is what I believe God has put in my heart:
First, we need to become and operate as disciples NOT as members of an organization. Each of us, every one of us, should be functioning and expressing the life of Christ everywhere, every day and not just at club sanctioned activities.
Then, my answer [to the question] would first be the answer of the first century church, to come together at every opportunity (Acts 2:46), and labor intentionally to remove everything that separates us (Ephesians 4:1-5).
The idea is simple: by the grace of God, love each other the way Christ loves us, which flows out of the way He loves the Father, and then invite others into that love.
I have a vision of various fellowships across our community being held by disciples (not as a club recruitment function but as a sharing the love of Christ function) in their homes and businesses every day where we share the love of Christ and learn how to grow it (different people hosting at different places on different days. I personally want to attend one every day). Praise God that this is already happening to some degree.
We should then look around our fellowships and ask, “Is this representative of the makeup of my community, and moreover is this representative of the Kingdom of God?” If it is not, repent and strive to correct that. As Christ left heaven to get us, we should leave our comfort zones to get them (those that are lost or missing).
We should then connect those fellowships, using that network to identify and address needs and seize opportunities to grow the family of God.
Let’s start by dropping any such fellowships (not as a club recruitment function but as a sharing the love of Christ function) that we’re aware of in the comments.
If you’d like some training on this, let me know and we’ll make that happen.
Thanks again dear sister for the call to arms and action!
I love you.