Thursday, July 24, 2008

Authentic Community

It is about 10:45 on Friday, and I am leaving in about 6 hours to attend a conference in Nashville tomorrow. I hope to make it there by breakfast. I'll blog more about the conference next week.
On Sunday, I will preach the 2nd to last sermon in a series I've done on some of the major threads that run throughout all of Scripture. Over an 8 week period, I've attempted to highlight some of the broad strokes we see weaving their way through the OT & NT.

This Sunday, I will be preaching on community. What is the church? What is the purpose of the church? Why do we exist?
My text will come from 1 Corinthians 12:12-26.

Just out of curiosity, what have been the most memorable moments you've experienced in community (church, small group, camp, mission trip, funeral, etc.)?


Jeff said...

Most memorable community experience is fellowship with brothers and sisters in Brazil. I couldn't understand a thing they said nor did they understand me but we all rejoiced in our love for God and each other because of our Savior.

I think I am in the midst of experiencing something incredible in our church. God has assembled incredible talent and I can only imagine what He has in store for us. The preaching is pretty good too!

Anonymous said...

My most memorable was when I took my youth group to the mountains in Honduras where we explored a cave and found a large enough "room" to have a worship service.

phil said...

If you haven't read it already, "Created for Community" by Stanley Grenz sounds like it might be a good resource for your sermon preparation.

One of the most memorable community experiences I have had was with my wife at a marriage conference in your new neck of the woods (Memphis). It was a retreat called “Weekend to Remember,” put on by “Family Life” at the Hilton in Memphis. There was something about that weekend where we both experienced God within our marriage in a refreshing way. There’s going to be another in November there and we are planning to attend again.

What conference are you going to in Nashville?

Anonymous said...

Hi, my most memorable community experience was chaperoning a youth group retreat. One of the exercises was a demonstration of how easily Satan can enter our midst. No matter how hard the kids tried to block the devil, he still entered in the circle through the least obvious person. This made such an impact on me; and I truly believe it opened my eyes to better see; my heart to better understand why and how; and finally to be more forgiving of those times we succumb to those wicked schemes.

Keep on preaching the Word!

Beverly Ross said...

When my children were teens, I had a small group of women I met with on a weekly basis to pray over each other's children. We did not share details that would embarass our kids - God already knew all those - we just lifted their names to the throne. Although very few of us still live in the same area, we remain very close at heart because of those shared hours.

Karen said...

I can't imagine my life without my community. I loved camp every summer when we worked as a group to help our children grow in the Lord. Of course we adults grew every bit as much as they did--maybe more. I guess one experience that definitely shaped our lives was the bus wreck. On the way back from a youth retreat, our bus was hit by a pickup with a 5th wheeler, and 6 of our girls were killed. It was a time of great sadness,grief, thankfulness for those who were safe, confusion, exhaustion, and a comfort and peace I had never known before. We KNEW God was there with us. Complete strangers stopped on the road to help us.
I'll never forget arriving in Artesia after the kids were released from the hospital. It was about 1:30 the morning afterthe wreck, and the other bus of our kids and their parents who had come to see about us were waiting for us. They were truly our family then, and the most beautiful people in the world! Karen

Sarah said...
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Sarah said...
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Sarah said...

Mine changes with every youth trip I take. My most memorable recently would be our trip to Mexico with the youth group. It is amazing to see high school students come together to serve complete strangers in Mexico. They give it everything they got in over one hundred degree heat and by the end of the week are asking if they can stay longer. Wow! I love being with these students - they encourage me in my spiritual journey and continually teach me about who God is. I love being a youth minister and getting so many opportunities to see God work through community.

mouseclicker said...

My most memorable community experience was at a men's breakfast in 1998 at a small church I was attending. On the Saturday morning that Congress were making decisions on impeachment, my church (equally politically mixed) prayed and were united. Despite of the negative between political parties that day, the men of my church praised God and prayed for country.

It was the best experience of community because despite of what was going on in the world, we choose to praise God and tiny church community were united.

We had three men to pray, as each man stood up and prayed, the other two lifted his arms in the air just as two men did for Moses thousands of years ago during a battle.

Kim Chapman said...

My most memorable community experience came on our last night in Honduras with the high school mission trip. We took turns washing each others feet. As we washed someone's feet, we told them how we had seen Jesus in them that week.

andee said...

One of the most powerful examples of community I have been a part of is on trek the summer after I graduated high school. Joe took us to the Grand Canyon where we worshipped together one Sunday. Sitting there, overlooking one of God's greatest wonders, we each told our baptism story and took the Lord's Supper together after each person shared. It was a time I will never forget and will always be grateful for.

Yesterday, Prentice Meador preached at Otter Creek on community as well! I enjoy keeping up a little with my home church through your blog.

Andee Hart
(Phil's daughter) :)