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.
As I type this, there are only about 7 weeks left in 2013. That’s hard to believe, especially since it takes me until November to really get used to the “new” year. (I still think it’s 2012 sometimes.) By the time I can remember what year we’re in, it’s time to change again. So 2014 […]
Folks who go to church all the time their whole life will be fluent in churchy lingo, but others won’t be, so we don’t want to use insider language they don’t understand, especially if it sends a wrong message. New perspectives are very helpful, because they force us not to use hollow language just by habit. Is there a better way we can talk about issues of faith? The main thing young adults don’t like is hollow clichés. So here is a helpful list (I love lists!) of “churchy phrases that are scaring off millennials.”
The Bible verse Obadiah 1:17 can be translated by saying that one day, when God makes all things new, God’s followers will “possess their possessions.” That might sound repetitive, but in actuality, does it ever feel like your possessions own you instead the other way around? They call to you, tempting you to buy them; then you have take care of them, fix them when they break, and give them your attention. But do they make you happy forever, or do they eventually leave you unfulfilled?
Last month we started thinking about why there has been a decline in American church attendance the last few decades. In the sermon last Sunday, we heard the words of Jesus–“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few” (Luke 10:2)–and we applied it to our society today: people are different now, so it’s like there’s a different kind of crop that needs harvesting. This new crop requires different harvesting methods, which the church hasn’t really learned yet.
We all know that we should help people who are in need. It was a very important thing to do for God-followers in both the Old and New Testaments. So, if we want to be real God-followers today, we should help people in need too… but how exactly? Good question.
Arguments are unpleasant. They make us angry, devolve to shouting matches, and usually don’t actually solve the problem that started them. If we never listen to why the issue was important to the other person, then we’ll never be able to resolve the conflict. So instead of arguing, we should try listening instead.
Suicide is such a sad hard issue that friends and family might stay silent because they are uncomfortable and don’t know what to say. That’s understandable, but we shouldn’t let our feeling awkward keep us from showing God’s love to a person/family who desperately needs it.
Helping people is hard to do. Before you even start, it takes a lot of maturity to actually want to help people in need, because it means taking something that you have (whether money, time, resources, energy, whatever) and giving it to someone else who needs it. But then it’s even hard to know how to help: you don’t want to help out the “wrong” way, and you certainly don’t want to make things worse. So what do you do?
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