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Friday, October 21, 2011

Jesus Was Not a Bible Study Leader

What would it have looked like if Jesus had led bible studies? Would he have served refreshments? Would he have played ice-breaker, get-to-know-you games? Would he have used a DVD based, sermon based, or book based curriculum? Jesus could have just met once or twice a week with the disciples to talk about the Old Testament but the good news is: Jesus did not lead Bible studies.

Jesus did far more than just lead Bible studies. Jesus poured into his disciples by sharing life with them.

For instance, Jesus did not teach the disciples how to worship by inviting them to come to a 6 week study on the topic of prayer. Instead, he showed them how to pray. In Luke 11, the Lord’s Prayer was not initiated by Jesus asking what the disciples wanted to study next. The disciples were with Jesus; they witnessed him praying and asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.” They were sharing life.

How would Jesus have shown the disciples how to be sacrificial servants outside of sharing life with them? He could have just reprimanded them for their “who’s the greatest” arguments or left it at “the first shall be last, and last first.” But there was absolutely no greater way to show them sacrificial servanthood than to kneel down before them wrapped in a towel and wash their dirty, smelly, road-weary feet. They were sharing life.

Jesus did not come to pass on an informational mission. Jesus came to share in and pass on the “sent life” in community with a few. Jesus would leave his mission for his disciples to carry on after he was gone. Mere information would not do. They had to share life.

So, who are you sharing life with? Who are you worshipping with? Who are you on mission with? Who are you sacrificially serving with? The shared life is such an integral part of who we are as a church. Without it, life transformation does not happen or is at least stunted. Without it, we are just having bible studies. And remember, Jesus did not lead bible studies. Jesus shared life.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Under Construction

Under Construction

Have you ever tried to build something? I learned early in life that I’m not very handy. As a kid, I once attempted to build a tree house. I got some boards and nails and went to work. I hammered some nails into the tree trunk and placed my boards on top. After, I had them just the way I wanted them, I climbed down and examined my creation. Satisfied, I climbed back up the tree to start constructing the walls. I was feeling pretty accomplished, that is until the nails gave way and my floor fell apart leaving me on the ground with some serious bumps and bruises. I learned pretty quickly (and painfully) that if you’re going to stand on something, you’d better have a good foundation.

Over the past few months in Kid Zone, we’ve been working to build a solid foundation for our kid’s ministry. We’ve made some great strides: We have an incredible team of committed volunteers and an improved, safer environment for our children. Sounds pretty good, right? Definitely! But we’re not stopping there; we’re going to the next level!

Over the next month, you’ll begin to see some changes in the Kid Zone environments. First off, our leaders have taken a huge leap of faith and committed to lead on a full-time basis, so when your child comes into Kid Zone he or she will see familiar faces and be excited to hang out with them. The good news is you’ll recognize them, too! This change allows us to take a big step forward in our strategy for partnering with families to develop spiritually healthy kids. On November 6th, we’re introducing a new teaching style that allows kids to participate in age-appropriate worship and small group activities, in addition to our interactive Bible lesson. We didn’t leave out the parents in this equation. We’ll be providing tools on a monthly and weekly basis to help you discuss and reinforce the spiritual truth your child is learning.

So watch out River Church, Kid Zone is under construction! Beware of excitement!