Blog - Supporting Believers
Can You Help With Examples for New Book?Monday, August 24, 2015
Years of emphasizing the importance of making workplace-ready disciples has led me to the writing of another book. Not on Christians in the workplace, as such, but on the way we do church. I’ve become convinced that our practices of gathering form one barrier to churches equipping Christ-followers to learn how to live out their faith at work and elsewhere. Drilling down to the core of the book takes us to two Scripture passages.
The first is what Jesus called his "new command” (Jn. 13:34, 35). The three one-anothers in those verses became the seed from which the New Testament’s more than 50 one-anothers/each-others grew. The fact that Jesus, near the end of his earthly ministry, saw a need to give his church planters a single new command underscores its importance in his thinking. In short, when we practice gathering (ekklesia) we should give top priority to one-anothering.
The second is what Paul told the Ephesians what makes the church grow. He said the "body . . .grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Eph. 4:16, emphasis added).
Combining one-anothering with each part doing its work spells, in my mind, participation. Yet in a typical Sunday morning gathering of believers, very few parts have any opportunity to do their work. For example, when was the last time you heard anyone tell your congregation how they saw God on the move in their work circle the week before? Or how long has it been since you listened as someone described what God has been stirring up in their neighborhood?
A few churches are structuring their meetings to incorporate participation and one-anothering. So within the book I hope to describe just how they are doing that. You can help me discover those examples. Here are few illustrations of the kind of practices I’m searching for:
- Teaching that invites dialogue (beyond listening to a monologue).
- Testimonies from members of the body (conversion, overcoming sin, reconciliation—from workplaces, neighborhoods, or families).
- Suggesting (or even leading out with) a song for everyone to sing.
- Greeting each other creatively.
- Praying for each other meaningfully.
- Or others.
Please note that I am not asking for examples of what happens in small groups or Sunday classes. I’m completely in favor of those, but for this book, I want to focus on participation in the main worship service of the congregation.
If you can point me to a source for one or more practices of this sort, I’d love to hear from you.