Let’s move on to chapter 14 in our book discussion of Finding Church: Gatherings Without Meetings. Most of our engagements with other Christians have come in meetings, regulated from the front with an agenda or ritual that must be served. No wonder our focus is on accomplishing tasks more than it is to grow in Jesus-centered friendships with other people.
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus never organized or held any kind of routine meeting? Instead he spent time with people wherever he engaged them, on a street, in a home, on the beach, in a boat, or on a walk. Those environments gave him all he needed to help them discover the life of the kingdom and to engage the relationships that would best encourage them. That’s not to say meetings are evil, but that the community of church life is best discovered in more relational settings. This chapter takes a look at switching our focus from meetings controlled from the front, to growing friendships that share the life and priority of Jesus.
Excerpt from Chapter 14:
The signal of church life is not easily found in large meetings of like-minded people, but in the engagements of growing friendships. Success is measured not by the size of the group but by the quality of relationships. Instead of complicating people’s time with meetings and commitments, real church life is more readily experienced with authentic friendships in informal settings that don’t require large resources to drive centralized programs.
You can’t share life with hundreds of people sitting in a managed group. You can share a cause, a task even, but relationships won’t grow for the lack of time and energy to explore them. Isn’t that why people feel so disconnected in large congregations and complain that the relationships they do have remain superficial?
You can find the discussion board here and see the list of topics we’ve covered. You can start at Chapter 1 and work your way through, or just join us in Chapter 14.