A Pastor's Heart
|Posted on August 14, 2018 at 11:20 AM|
As we develop our corporate disciplines the front line discipline to develop is a commitment to public corporate worship with other believers. However, simply attending the worship service alone is not the end of our corporate development. Rather it is the beginning. The second discipline that we must commit to is the discipline of relating.
"Now wait a minute preacher, how is relating a discipline?"
"I am glad you asked."
The Christian life does not simply worship in community, but it lives in community. We are designed to live out life in relationship not only with God but with others around us. Jesus said in John 13 that the world will know that we are his disciples because we love one another. The world does not see love simply because we come to church together, but because we live in relationship with one another and share our lives with each other.
Too often we strive to live the Christian life in isolation and in isolation we often are led astray by our feelings, our emotions, and our misunderstandings. Through relationship we safeguard ourselves from false teaching and we foster an environment that produces accountability in our walk with the Lord Jesus and the local church.
So how do we practice the discipline of relating? The most effective means of practicing this discipline is to make a commitment to a small group Bible study. Every member and attendee of United Baptist Church should be able to find a group that fits their lifestyle and schedule. We offer unisex groups, age graded groups, and coed groups on multiple days and times to provide opportunity to attend a small group Bible study.
The most affective small group Bible study environment that we offer is Sunday school on Sundays at 9:45 AM. During this time, we offer classes for every age and stage of life at the same time. For children we offer classes from birth through high school and then for adults we offer coed classes for every age and stage. These classes are open to any one on any week to join in and get involved. No matter what your family situation may be, the Sunday school time offers a small group Bible study to practice the discipline of relating within.
In addition to attendance, we must also participate in the group. We need to share with each other from the Scriptures and from our lives as we discover the issues that we face, the circumstances that we live within, and the opportunities for greater growth that exist within the group. As you share your life through participation, you are making an investment of yourself in the group and you are investing in others as they invest in you.
Beyond the regular meeting times, we also should seek to spend time with people in our group in other environments. Go to dinner, attend the football game, have a party, or any other number of ways for you to build relationships with those who are part of your group. Life is not simply what happens at church, but what happens beyond the walls of a classroom or the worship service.
As you share your life with your group, God uses others to mature you in your walk with him, to sanctify you in holiness, and to prune you for greater fruitfulness in his kingdom. Apart from the discipline of relating there are holes within your relationship to God and to other believers that simply cannot be filled.