Even though it’s already printed here in the newsletter, I want to repeat the church’s newly-crafted mission statement: The mission of Hickory Rock is to show our love for God through worship, prayer, service, and fellowship, as we proclaim God’s love for all people, encouraging them to grow in the hope, peace, and joy of […]
Something really important happened last week in the life of the church: we formulated a mission statement for our congregation. It’s one sentence of what we believe God wants us to be and do. So how do we apply it?
Everyone wants to be satisfied with their church-going experience. And there are a lot of things we can do to improve not just our church experience but the overall impact and warmth of our church for everybody who connects with it. But what if you didn’t want to be satisfied with your church?
No matter how nice you are, there’s always going to be people who manage to get on your nerves. It can be co-workers, supervisors, neighbors, frenemies, or even family members over the dinner table during Christmas. But what if there are people at your church that rub you the wrong way?
As a kid, I was overwhelmed with curiosity about what Christmas presents I would get. For gifts that were wrapped under the tree early, I examined them like a CSI forensics expert examines a body for clues. Now, though, I don’t need anymore toys. But I do need socks and undershirts, so I actually welcome gifts of clothes. However, when money is spent on me, I don’t want it to go to mean, jerky people. So what’s a gift-giver to do?
“Everybody eats.” There’s no getting around it, but for a long time, many people didn’t think about where their food comes from, but that’s beginning to change. I was reading an article, called “Ministries blending food and faith,” which said this: There’s a dawning awareness among Baptists and other Christians that agriculture, the environment, and theology are […]
What would you say if someone asked, “I get why you’re into ‘being spiritual’ and ‘helping people’ and everything, but why bother with Church? Do you really think you need it?” If churches are just places that organize service projects, have book clubs, host fun dinners, and offer support groups, and since you can find all that through other places, then why bother with church at all? Good question. (The short answer is: it helps you remember what you need to know.)
Amazingly, we can learn to be better Christians by studying the evolution of dogs. Weird, right? Apparently, between 12,000 and 40,000 years ago, the wild wolf was domesticated into the common dog. But how did that happen? How did some parts of a species go from ruthless predators to cute fluffy balls of fur that snuggle with us on the couch? And what does that have to do with being a Christian?
Koinonia is a Greek word that means things like “fellowship, community, communion, joint participation, intimacy, and contribution.” It’s an important word for churches because that’s the kind of spirit a church should have: an intimate participating fellowship held together and guided by God. Koinonia is what God wants the church to look and be like, and I think our church is doing a pretty good job of it.
When we experience hardship, it is natural to ask “why.” A better question might be to ask “where.” Where is God when bad things happen? It often feels like God is absent during painful times, and that we are alone in darkness. But that is not the case. God is with us. Remembering that and the other things on this list will help us withstand the storms that come our way in life.
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