Posts tagged ‘Church’
Have you ever gotten home from work and thought to yourself, “I just need some time to myself?” This is a natural response that many of us, including myself, are prone to having. But it is important for us to realize that the very thing many of us naturally gravitate towards (isolation) is a result of sin and is really the opposite of what we need. Community by Brad House is a book that addresses this need of every single human for community. Americans have especially developed an individualistic mindset that often completely ignores or denies community. Yet we see in Scripture over and over how it is not good for man to be alone. God did not design us to live alone and in seclusion, instead He created us to desire acceptance and approval and connection in community.
Brad House tackles this Western mindset of individualism and how it has seeped into churches today.
Community within the church today is hemorrhaging. Attention spans are dwindling, noise levels are increasing, and we can’t seem to find time for real relationships.
The answer to such social fragmentation can be found in small groups, and yet the majority of small groups–at least in the traditional sense–are often not the intentional, transformational community we really want and need. Somehow we need to get our groups off life support and into authentic community.
Pastor Brad House helps us to re-imagine what gospel-centered community looks like and shares from his experience leading and reproducing healthy small groups. With wisdom and candor, House challenges us to think carefully about our own groups and to take steps toward cultivating communities that are able to glorify Jesus, bless one another, and participate in the mission of God.
This is an incredible book that was a constant source of conviction and repentance on my part. What a breath of fresh air to realize that community is not intended to drain life, but to give life. You don’t recover from community, you recover in community.
This book is intended for pastors and church leaders, but most of it would be beneficial to any and everyone, especially the first section which deals with the theological foundation for community. Community has become a Christian buzzword, and so it is critically important that we understand why community is so important before we can truly grasp what community will look like. I would encourage you to read this book and examine your own community (or if you are like me, your lack of community). I hope that this book both challenges and encourages you!
If you have a desire as a Christian to trust what the Word of God says above and beyond anything else (feelings, culture, circumstances, etc.) then Radical is a ministry you should be familiar with. This ministry started by David Platt has a number of great resources to encourage, challenge and equip believers.
Radical exists to serve the church in accomplishing the mission of Christ.
We long to see the church making disciples who make disciples who make disciples throughout the world – from our neighbors across the street to the unreached people groups across the globe – all for the glory of God.
Radical is a parachurch ministry that serves alongside the local church, providing multi-lingual biblical resources birthed in the context of a local church that we hope will support disciple-making in other local churches around the world. Radical serves these churches by providing resources in multiple languages, organizing events on multiple levels, and facilitating opportunities through multiple avenues that all aim to encourage followers of Christ in the global purpose God has designed for us as His people. Many of our resources come from the ministry of David Platt, who serves as one of the pastors of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama.
One of the most powerful and unique resources you will find at Radical is Secret Church. Secret Church is based off of experiences David had while ministering with underground churches in southeast Asia. It is not intended to be a gimmick to “recreate” a Secret or underground church atmosphere, but instead is based on those within these churches willingness and desire to study the Word of God. It is not a show or performance, but very simply is one man attempting to be faithful in teaching God’s Word for several hours at a time. I want to encourage you, if you’ve never experienced Secret Church, to check it out (you’ll find the audio and video for free on the internet, or you can order a DVD). You will want to purchase a study guide that corresponds with the Secret Church you’re watching (they’re about $5). These are less like study guides and are more like books with a wealth of Scripture resources. When you look at the different Secret Churches, you’ll see that each one is arranged around a specific theme. We watched The Cross and Suffering with our Student Ministry, and I can say that if you are or have gone through significant struggles, difficulties, or suffering, this is a Bible study that will encourage and strengthen you through God’s Word on suffering. Be warned that these lessons are fast paced (which is why the study guide is so helpful) and are intended to look at a given topic holistically. So instead of just teaching on one or two verses on suffering for example, David attempts to look throughout all of Scripture on what each and every book of the Bible has to say about suffering. If you are serious about wanting to grow as a Christian, I would certainly encourage you to watch these lessons!
David is a pastor who has a heart to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth and who desires to see the local church make disciples who make disciples. One of the reasons I appreciate David so much as a pastor, is that his heart is always focused on God, and not man. And so the result is not a church or ministry that seeks to just give people what they want to hear but to teach the Word in its entirety for the glory of God. I have learned so much from hearing him preach (both in person at a number of conferences and online through podcast), and I would encourage you to become familiar with what he is teaching. I don’t want to point to David and say how great he is, because I know what’s really great about his teaching isn’t him, but Him. Too often Christianity here in the west has looked more and more like culture, and it has been both a challenge and an encouragement to me to be faced with Scripture’s call to us as Christians. When Jesus calls his disciples to follow Him, we know where He’s ultimately going (His throne), but He goes to the cross first. It is curious to me that many Christians assume Jesus is calling us to follow Him without really acknowledging where He went (or at least accepting the implications for us as Christians). Indeed, the thorn room is next to the throne room. I encourage you to check out David’s teachings as he embraces this truth and carries it out to its full extent for us as Christians: making disciples who take the Gospel to the ends of the earth for the glory of God.
For more about David, visit his about page on Radical.net. You can also visit the website for his Church, The Church at Brook Hills.
(By sharing about this ministry, I am not endorsing it or all of its views. I have no connection or affiliation with this ministry.)
There are many books out there that talk about how you can make your life better by following certain steps or believing certain things. Many of these books are also portrayed as Christian, even though you won’t find what most of them are teaching anywhere in Scripture. In light of that reality, I feel it’s important to point out that the need for a Christian to be connected to a healthy Church is not only beneficial, it is absolutely critical. Too often, Christians are only concerned with themselves, and that is exactly why Christ’s Bride isn’t the individual, but the entire body, the Church. God does care for you, absolutely, but His love doesn’t stop there. And so it is that we as Christians are called to love others. And in fact the Church is the very means by which God intends for us to do that.
And so we should ask ourselves, am I part of the Church? Although even then we’re still focusing on ourselves, and so it seems the first question you should ask is, what or who is the Church? What does the Church look like? What does the Church do? How does the Church do? Why does the Church do? We must investigate the Church before we can investigate whether we are a part of it.
And it is here that I would like to point you to an incredibly valuable resource. Mark Dever’s book, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, is a book that every family should own.
What makes for a healthy church? A large congregation? Plentiful parking? Vibrant music?
You may have read books on this topic before-but not like this one. This new expanded edition of Nine Marks of a Healthy Church is not an instruction manual for church growth. It is a pastor’s recommendation of how to assess the health of your church using nine crucial qualities that are neglected by many of today’s churches.
Whether you’re a church leader or an involved member of your congregation, you can help cultivate these elements in your church, bringing it new life and health for God’s glory.
Mark’s goal is not to make Churches look a certain way, but to be faithful followers of The Way. Too many people look for a Church based on the music, or the Children’s program, or the Youth Ministry, or the great preacher, or the comfortable building, or because of other people that go there. But Mark wants us to look at the things that really matter, what qualities make a healthy Church?
If we as Christians would be faithful in modeling our Churches based on Scripture instead of successful businesses, I’m confident we would see healthier Churches, and that is exactly what Mark is getting at in this book. Too often Churches look for leaders based on the world’s definition of leadership instead of God’s definition. I love the quote he shares from Os Guinness’s Dining with the Devil, “Being much more subtle, secularization often deceives Christians before they are aware of it, including those in the church-growth movement. How else can one explain the comment of a Japanese businessman to a visiting Australian? ‘Whenever I meet a Buddhist leader, I meet a holy man. Whenever I meet a Christian leader, I meet a manager.’” Mark’s goal is to see the Church look less like the world and more like the Church. Buy this book and spend some time reading it (especially if you are a Church leader). If you are like me, you will probably find some areas in your own heart that you need to repent. You may also find some areas in your own local Church that don’t match up with Scripture. I encourage you to trust God’s Word over man’s traditions, to believe His Way is always best, and to examine how your Church can look more like Christ’s Bride.
If you are a Church leader, you might also consider Mark’s book A Display of God’s Glory, which is a heavily abridged version of Nine Marks dealing with Church leadership intended to be read by the average Church member. You can also find specific resources dealing with each of the nine marks at www.9marks.org.
1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life— 2 that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— 3 what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may have fellowship along with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
1 John 1:1-4
God is good. He is so good. Last night was incredible. We had 10 students respond to the Gospel message last night (some in repentance and faith for the first time, some in submission to the Lord’s will in an area of their life, and one in call to ministry). If you’ve never had a front row seat to the movement of God, you have seriously missed out! As a pastor, there is no greater joy than to have a student come up to you grinning from ear to ear and tell you, “I put my faith in Christ tonight.” Speechless, that’s honestly the feeling I get in a moment like that, gloriously speechless.
Speaking of speechless (see what I did there?), I met with one particular student who came down during the invitation, and I asked him what was going on, for him just to open up and share his heart. Now, I’ve had quite a few of these conversations, and usually it is fairly plain to see when God is actually working in their heart and when they came down for some other reason (like they felt bad for leaving home the way they did or they just want to be a better person). But when this student opened his mouth to respond, I nearly had to pick my jaw up from the ground. His response (Junior High boy mind you) was maybe one of the clearest and fullest explanations of the Gospel that I’ve ever heard. From anyone. The only thing I could think to say was, “Cool.” My brain was literally in shock. Just hours ago, this young man was running around the cabin blowing on a vuvuzela, and now he was articulating the Gospel with power, precision and conviction, all while staring straight into my eyes. I don’t have anything to add, the image I see in my head even as I think of this is simply, “!“.
I’m sure at some point I’ll share pictures and stories about all of the great fun our kids are having playing sports, swimming (there’s a giant blob here!), zip lining, and even archery-ing. But there was just no way I could talk about yesterday without focusing on last night!
Please continue to pray for our students (and leaders), that God would draw us to Him, and that our hearts would be both broken and put back together by the Gospel. We want this week to be for Him and His glory!
What is the Church? I think this is a fitting question that many of us have opinions on, but few of us have really stopped and thought about. This powerful video by Lecrae doesn’t necessarily teach us what the Church is, but it certainly points out what the Church IS NOT. This video is probably offensive to some people (especially if you’ve never really considered what the Church is) and it is possibly misleading (especially if you’ve never really experienced what the Church is). Please know that Lecrae is a committed Christian who is involved in his Church in Atlanta (to watch a video about his story click here). This song was written by a believer, but it is not sung from the perspective of a believer. If you’re like me and have trouble following everything he says, here are the lyrics. Finally, before you watch this video, read Ephesians 4:1-16.
So what do you think this video is about? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!
Hold back the tears.
That’s what I told myself as I prepared to see my daughter for the first time. But as Dr. Kyle held Avery up for the whole room to see, I was immediately overwhelmed. I watched as they cleaned her up, trying to take in the moment while also getting pictures on my camera. At one point I just stopped, because I realized that no picture would ever need to recreate the feeling that was washing over me, that the love that I instantly had for this little one would only continue to grow.
The next 60 hours in the hospital were a complete blur. We found out that first night that Avery had jaundice, which meant she was required to be under a blue billi light at all times. While we knew that jaundice was very common, that’s not much comfort to two new parents who are unable to hold and soothe their crying newborn baby. To make matters worse, waking Avery to eat every 2 hours became an incredibly difficult chore (one of the affects of jaundice). Our time in the hospital became very much a repeat of trying to wake Avery, desperately trying to get her to nurse, trying to calm her down while putting her back under the billi light, and then talking to her soothingly until she finally quit crying.
On Sunday, we found out that her jaundice levels had gone down enough that she would be allowed to go home! The nurse followed us down to the car with Avery strapped into the carseat, helped get everything loaded into the car, and then waved goodbye. I remember Emily turning to me and saying, “so they’re just going to let us drive off with her?” And it was at this moment that the full weight of my responsibility as a parent hit me. While there might be other people, like the doctors and nurses in the hospital, who will be there to help at different times along the way, no one else would be going home with my daughter; the only person equipped and available to be her father, is me.
Cry. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
It’s incredible how quickly something so small radically changes your entire schedule, but by the end of the first night, this pattern had already begun to dominate our time (actually, the pattern is more like cry, eat, cry, cry, eat, cry, sleep, cry, eat, cry, repeat). I remember one night/morning around 4 or 5 AM, after being awake since 2 AM with a crying baby, Emily and I looked at each other and we both had the same thought, “What are we doing?” Few things will make you question your qualifications as a parent more than trying for hour after hour to unsuccessfully calm your child down and not having any idea why they are crying in the first place. It was at this moment, as the exhaustion and uncertainty began to set in, that I realized how little I can do, but more importantly, how much God had already done.
Thankfulness for our Church
We’ve had meals brought to our house, visitors come to see us in the hospital (even waiting into the night on Thursday with our family), and we’ve been given more clothes than Avery will probably ever be able to wear. On top of all the gifts, kind words, encouragement, and support, we’ve known daily that our whole family has been covered in prayer. This whole experience has been a vivid illustration of what the body of Christ looks like, and we are thankful beyond words for our faith family here at First Baptist.
Thankfulness for our Family
It’s so easy to take this for granted, but our family has been here for us every step of the way. We had the waiting room full of people until Avery came at 1:19 AM Friday morning and we’ve been blessed by our family visiting, calling, texting, sending flowers and even requesting daily pictures of our sweet Avery. I can’t imagine what this would be like without the support of our family! You are yet another reminder of God’s provision in our lives!
Thankfulness for my Wife
I’m stunned as I sit back and take in the fact that Emily is not just my complement, but she is also uniquely designed to be Avery’s mother. I remember walking into the nursery and seeing Emily asleep in the chair with Avery sleeping in her arms. This image is forever burned into my mind as a portrait of my beautiful, loving and compassionate wife nurturing our sweet little girl. It is truly amazing the way that God has programmed my wife with the motherly instincts that I lack, and I want to thank Him every day for my helper.
All of this from God
How can I possibly bask in the gifts that have been poured out over me instead of turning to the Gift Giver and thanking Him with every inch of my being? I’m not nearly proud or foolish enough to think that any of this is because of who I am, but I am wholly sure that it’s only because of who He is. And this is the best part of the story, because as I’ve come to understand that I will fail Avery as a father, I am encouraged to know there are broader shoulders that will carry her. And that is why, as my beautiful wife so perfectly put it yesterday, “We just need to pray for her, every day.” And we will.
In 1998, New Line Cinema released a movie called Pleasantville. Here is the description of the movie, “A brother and sister from the 1990s are sucked into their television set and suddenly find themselves trapped in a 1950s style television show. Here they have loving parents, old fashioned values, and an overwhelming amount of innocence and naivete. Not sure how to get home, they integrate themselves into this “backwards” society and slowly bring some color to this black and white world. But as innocence fades, the two teens begin to wonder if their 90s outlook is really to be preferred.” This movie provides a fascinating perspective on modern progressive lifestyle (even though it’s over 10 years old and would probably be significantly stronger in these views if it were made today) as well as the view of our culture towards the “backwards” and “old fashioned” lifestyle of the 50’s.
During the movie, the black and white world of the 1950’s begins to add color. As people experience different emotions and actions, they actually begin to gain color to their skin and clothes. The 1950’s are depicted as perfect families on the outside, but they are all hollow and emotionless on the inside, but as color enters the world, it brings with it passion, chaos, lust, and heartbreak. The “perfectness” of Pleasantville is ruined, but instead its inhabitants gain life, or at least, life as the teens from the 1990’s know it.
This movie is significant because it demonstrates a number of different things at the same time.
We all want a perfect family.
At some point or another, each of us has probably looked at our family and wished it was different. Parents get divorced. Dad’s never home. Mom’s always yelling. Your brother or your sister gets treated better than you do. Sometimes, we just wish we could trade families with our friend, because their parents don’t seem to fight as much, their parents are easy to get along with, and their family just seems to have it all together. Like looking through the TV at the perfect families in Pleasantville, we stare out the window at the house across the street wishing for something. Anything other than this.
There is no such thing as a perfect family.
Perhaps the only worthwhile lesson out of Pleasantville is the revelation that these seemingly perfect families are empty. So many of us pray for a life without pain, without troubles, a life full of happiness and joy. We don’t want to sit in our room alone every night, but it just feels like if only we could change (fill in the blank), our family would be so much better. But even when the Father always comes home from work every day, and even when the mother always takes care of the house and has dinner ready right on time, even in a world where nothing can go wrong, all it could ever amount to is emptiness.
Our Culture has no idea what a family is.
The worst part of all of this is that our culture – in the midst of broken families, abused teenagers, and deserted children – our culture has decided that all of this is proof that families are unnecessary. Our culture says that the problem with those families in 1950, is that they were “backwards”, that they were too rigid with their “old fashioned values.” So the answer that our culture gives to you, is to pursue yourself. Get those new shoes, play that new game, drive that car or use this phone. Make the cheerleading squad, be a starter on varsity, be the top of your class or be the leader of that Bible Study. At every turn, we’ve been told that your life is about one person: you. And so, because we aren’t satisfied with the life we have, we dream of a better world for ourselves. Maybe we want new stuff, maybe we want recognition or maybe we just want our parents to treat us better. Whatever the case, our world is confused about what a family is and what it’s for, and so the solution is increasingly individualistic. Forget about others and focus on you.
Scripture on Families
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, 23 for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. 27 He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. 28 In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30 since we are members of His body.
31 For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh.
32 This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.
1 Children, obey your parents as you would the Lord, because this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, 3 so that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land. 4 Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
God’s vision for the Family is radically different. Here, husband and wife do not battle for control and children seek not only to obey their parents, but to honor them as well. The goal here isn’t a perfect family, the purpose here is a Christ-centered and Christ-filled family. Moms and Dads will never be perfect, but their families will glorify God as long as they rest in the work of Jesus on the Cross.
Skating with Teenagers is Bad for Your Health
In case you weren’t there, Wednesday night was an eventful time with our Student Ministry at Pop’s Skateland. I don’t know when the last time you went rollerskating was, but in case you’ve never been, the basic idea is skating in circles on four-wheeled shoes and a hardwood floor. For someone who is used to doing this, I’m sure it’s a relaxing and enjoyable experience for the whole family. That changes however when there’s about 100 people on that wood floor who’s average age is somewhere around 14. This isn’t to say Wednesday wasn’t enjoyable (actually, it was some of the best fun I’ve had in a long time) however it was anything but relaxing.
Before I made my way onto the floor, I had a number of students ask me if I would be joining them. I assured them that I was perfectly capable on skates and that in fact I might be able to teach them a thing or two. Apparently my memories of my experiences as a child on roller skates are either very wrong or I’ve somehow managed to lose a considerable amount of coordination. I remembered skating as fast as I could as a child without a care or worry in the world, but what I experienced Wednesday was more like walking on a tight rope across a canyon while teenagers try to knock me off and friends “cheer” from the sidelines (not sure if they’re cheering for me or the teenagers). Somehow in the midst of dodging students (some who were legitimately trying to plow into me at full speed) and trying to maintain balance (I actually didn’t fall once, which is impressive considering how many students were trying to help me “find” the floor), I noticed that there are a couple of different types of skaters out there in the world:
Skilled Skaters - Watching these people would make it seem as though skating is the easiest thing in the world. But as Brian Regan shows in this video, things are never as easy as they seem. Don’t trust a skilled skater. They will ask you to join them, to attempt something you’re clearly incapable of doing, and then when you crash and burn will shrug their shoulders and say something like, “well I always thought it was easy.” You know the type of people I’m talking about, they waltz around on the floor like it’s nothing, they effortlessly weave their way around less able skaters and talk to others while they skate backwards, all the while they don’t break a sweat (I found skating to be more like a workout).
Terrible Skaters - The exact equal and opposite to the skilled skater, a terrible skater is totally unable to perform even the simplest of maneuvers on roller skates. Typically, these people know better than to even attempt at skating, but as I experienced Wednesday, there are still some who are foolish enough to think that their clumsiness with solid footing will somehow improve on shoes with wheels in a room full of moving obstacles. These are the people who stumble around the floor with terrified expressions on their face the entire time. You can usually find them either hugging the side wall somewhere or trying to get up from the floor.
Cautious Skaters - If a terrible skater is the exact opposite of a skilled skater, then a cautious one is somewhere in between. This is me. I would skate for a few minutes feeling pretty confident, thinking it’s not so hard, and then a violent lurch and a desperate attempt to maintain balance bring me back to reality. This is the person who’s able to build up speed, but their only way to slow down is by either grabbing the wall, grabbing somebody else (usually one of the terrible skaters, because they’re usually not moving), or trying to coast to a stop.
Dangerous Skaters - The difference between a dangerous skater and a cautious one isn’t skill, but intelligence. A cautious skater knows that hitting the floor or the wall at full speed is undesirable; however this thought never seems to cross the mind of a dangerous skater (another name for this type of skater is “teenage boy”). Whereas most people enjoy simply riding around the skating rink, these people only find joy in going as fast as humanly possibly and trying to run into other skaters. They also tend to bare an uncanny resemblance to heat-seeking missiles.
The Fallacy of a Spiritual and Physical Divide
At some point towards the end of the evening, a well-intentioned student came up to me and asked this question, “So when are we going to get the spiritual lesson for tonight?” Now I know that the student only asked her question because there’s a purpose to every event that we do and she was really just asking when we were going to get to the purpose of the skate night; but what her question did, without her realizing it, was miss the purpose altogether. I thought for a moment before responding, “we’re not doing anything else tonight, this is the lesson.” The time we were spending together having fun wasn’t being wasted, this wasn’t the activity before the lesson; tonight, the activity was the lesson. This kind of fellowship is part of what the Church is and does, and that’s because God didn’t design us to spend our lives on our own, instead He built us for one another. In fact, not only are we meant to have fellowship with one another, but our fellowship with each other helps us to see our fellowship with Him. Think about someone that matters to you, someone whom you love and treasure very much; is it enough to simply know who they are, to read about them and think about them? Of course not! When you love someone, you want to be near them, you want to spend time with them, you want to do things with them and for them. The same is true of our relationship with God. We don’t simply need a knowledge of who God is, we need a relationship with Him.
Some people live their lives as though there are spiritual actions and physical actions (as if the things we do at Church are different from the things we do at work). However, God does not separate His Truth into two different realities, as if He’s broken His creation into two different realms, a physical one and spiritual one. Think about it, if there was a separation between Church and World, then everything we do in the world would essentially have no impact on the things we do in the Church and vice-versa (or the types of actions we do in the Church would have some sort of Higher purpose or nature to them, and the things we do outside would be lower, so for example a Pastor would be more Godly than a janitor simply because the Pastor does more of the “high” Church-work). If this were true, we could be one person at Church and then a completely different person in the “real” world. The obvious problem here is that God only created one world, and it’s the same one that He sent His Son into and it’s the same one that He is sending us into on a daily basis. We see that God is constant and that His Truth permeates every bit of creation, and we see His Goodness everywhere we look (or, because of Sin, we see the perversion of that Goodness).
So why does Paul talk about the seen and unseen stuff in creation? Is Paul saying there’s a difference between the spiritual stuff and the physical stuff? No. What Paul is saying is that there is stuff that lasts forever, and stuff that doesn’t; and he’s going to focus on the eternal stuff.
So the big question is, what lasts forever? You do. This world will fade away, but you will last forever. And on this day we’ll see the restoration and renewing of all of creation and God Himself will be here with us. Can you imagine the incredible joy and honor of dwelling with The Alpha and Omega? This then, is where worldly fellowship ends and true fellowship begins.
This is why Wednesday night’s lesson was so important and so vital. The fellowship we shared points us to the fulfillment of fellowship here on earth (not in some spiritual realm). That’s why the Gospel is Good News for you and me, it’s Eternal Fellowship with the LORD. I know that we typically have a lesson where someone talks and then we get into small groups and talk with one another, but Wednesday I wanted us to see that our relationship with God is far more important than our knowledge of Him. There you have it, a lesson and the Gospel from a night of four-wheeled shoes and hardwood floors. Don’t try to know God, but get to know Him.