A friend recently commented on my use of “**”s. They’re for emphasis. And seeing as how I write as I talk, I must emphasize things a lot. But I like to use “**”s: they shake things up and take things to a different level. You know how folks use air quotes: do you like him, or do you “like” him? Sometimes that seems so flippant. My use of “**”s is the same idea: only more meaningful (and a better stretch for the fingers on the keyboard).
Yesterday I met with a group at church who are discerning direction for worship in our faith community: how are we called to worship, and are we following through with that? We ended up discussing something that doesn’t quite related to the topic at hand but gave me some good stuff to think about. Folks shared about hearing a sense of individuals not feeling connected to the larger body: they felt that fellowship times weren’t available or weren’t satisfying. As a group we began to name places where we did feel connected in our lives, places we felt community, we felt *church* (see: deeper, non-flippant meaning – ya know what I mean?).
For me *church* takes place on Thursday mornings with the women in Bible Fellowship. We chat, we eat, we learn, we pray and cry and rejoice and support. Sunday mornings are very distracting for me, but Thursday mornings I find myself able to center down almost instantaneously.
Folks shared about small groups and Sunday schools that they’ve felt *church*, spinning groups and mens breakfast groups and mentoring relationships where they’ve felt that deep connection that goes beyond the simple surface “we live in the same vicinity so we must hang out”. But rather, something more organic and deep and *church*.
So, what do you consider your *church*? Can you name it in your life? And why aren’t we spending more time finding out what God’s doing there rather than trying to bring God into places we don’t feel that connection? Or, what is God calling us to bring from those places of connectedness to places where we feel it lacking?