Up, In, and Out - A community that’s going somewhere.
The video on Up, In, and Out has stuck with me. I like the simplicity, the categories it provides, and the "interconnectedness" of each of the components. It also seems doable and resonates to my experience.
I was listening to NT Wright recently and he was encouraging folks to be connected to a local church. He says that he cannot pastor someone through a podcast. We need a pastor who knows us well enough to speak into our lives and to be there for us when we have a need. I love the sentiment, but have never experienced it. Church in America is different than Reverend Wright’s British context. We typically have large churches and if the Pastor remembers your name he certainly does not know about your needs, or how to speak into your life.
But, he got my attention. I can’t pastor myself. Expecting a young christian to pastor themselves is outright dangerous. We need support, encouragement, guidance, and accountability. We need someone to check our ideas to make sure we don’t go off into wackyland. Sometimes I need friends who push me a little. I love it when I feel pushed and when it is totally not intended to be that way. When a friend shares a conviction and how they are wrestling with a topic and I find that it pierces my soul and makes me wrestle as well.
I need this kind of community. Where we go a bit deeper than the surface talk. Where we share actual joys and actual struggles. Where we have fun together and even weep together. In the end it is a community where we are actually transformed by a constant pressing of the gospel message into our souls. This is very hard to experience in a Sunday morning environment or any other event oriented relationship. Do you have this sort of community?
And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.