This post is link five in a chain blog initiated by Alan Knox on the topic of “one another.”
Alan started us off by describing the mutuality of these reciprocal pronouns. Then Swanny reminded us of the universality of the command to love one another. The third post was by Chuck McKnight discussing what loving one another looks like. In the fourth post, Jim Putney calls God’s people to supernatural unity. This post looks at how our meeting space shapes our ability to fulfil Jesus’ command to love one another.
We go to church to be with God’s people. That’s the only real reason for gathering. If it was just about singing, we could listen to our iPods. If it was just about sermons, we could download them as podcasts. If it was just about connecting with God, we could do that in our own time, in our own way, any day of the week.
And yet, ironically, our time of “fellowship” involves sitting side-by-side, with no eye-contact, looking over the backs of people’s heads at one person on a stage. Our time of “communion” involves bowing our heads, focussing on a token piece of cracker and shot glass of grape juice, and praying silently as individuals. Our time of “corporate worship” involves singing along to some songs chosen for us by others, admiring the performance of the live band at the front. In fact, the only interactive part of our meeting occurs after we are dismissed from the worship area, and usually takes place in a separate area, over tea and biscuits, in an environment which encourages small talk and social chatter, not deep spiritual conversations, prayer and collaborative learning.
Many churches worldwide are discovering new ways of meeting which take the focus away from the front and put it back on the centre – on Jesus, and on one another. Many churches are empowering God’s people to speak to one another, teach one another, learn from one another and minister to one another when they gather. Many churches are experimenting with new ways of interacting together as a body, as a family, as a fellowship – and they’re never going back to the old formula.
The world we live in is desperate for true community. Social media is allowing people to be more connected than ever before – but they still need something more. The world needs to see God’s people loving one another – deeply connected, living life together, engaging in the messiness of each other’s lives. We need to re-examine the ways we meet together to allow true communion, true fellowship and true corporate worship. Then the world will look at the church and recognise that we are Jesus’ disciples – when they see how we love one another.
This post is the fifth link in a “chain blog”, started by Alan Knox, on the topic of “One Another”. Please have a look back through the other links and comments to join in the topic. You can even join in the chain – read the rules below to participate.
“Links” in the “One Another” chain blog:
1. “Chain Blog: One Another” by Alan
2. “Linking One Another” by Swanny
3. “What Does It Mean to Love One Another? by Chuck
4. “The treasure of “One Another” by Jim
5. “This is how the world shall recognise you…” by Kathleen
6. “Accepting one another in love” by Chris
7. “One Another-ing: A meta-narrative for the church” – Part One and Part Two by Greg
8. “Individualism and ‘one another’” by Pieter
9. “All Alone with One Another” by Jeremy
10. “When it’s OK for Christians to compete” by Joshua
11. “Jesus Christ, the Corner Stone for One Another” by Peter
12. “Be Superficial with One Another” by Jon
13. “The Unmentionable One Anothers” by Alan
14. “Loving More Fully and Widely” by Chris
15. Who will write the 15th link post in the chain?
Chain Blog Rules
- If you would like to write the next blog post (link) in this chain, leave a comment stating that you would like to do so. If someone else has already requested to write the next link, then please wait for that blog post and leave a comment there requesting to write the following link.
- Feel free to leave comments here and discuss items in this blog post without taking part in the actual “chain.” Your comments and discussion are very important in this chain blog (both this post and the other link posts in the chain).
- When you write a link in this chain, please reply in the comments of the previous post to let everyone know that your link is ready. Also, please try to keep an updated list of links in the chain at the bottom of your post, and please include these rules at the bottom of your post.