Fifth Sunday of Kingdomtide-Oct 1

05 Oct

Developing mutual concern-People were attracted to the early church because of the love they saw members had for each other. Our society has become increasingly isolated. Though surrounded by crowds, they are strangers and people withdraw into their private world. This isolation is seeping into the church as people drive farther to church and often do not see each other from one Sunday to the next. While many pastors and church leaders feel they have good access to knowing when members have problems, few members in most churches know each other well enough to drop the mask they wear to keep people at a distance and reveal who they really are and that they have needs. The lack of this concern is why there are so many in church who struggle with loneliness and depression and why there are so many in church who do things that hurt others. Many people who form the core of churches today are interrelated to others in the core of the church because their children grew up together in the church and married. When they have problems or needs, their family helps either directly or through the church. However there are many in most churches who are outside the core because they have only recently joined or their children had left home before they joined and often are not well known by those in the core. When they have problems or needs, the core of the church is often not aware of it and those in need are reluctant to ask for help. In a small church, where the pastor gets out and regularly visits all his members, he may eventually become aware of problems, however, in a large church, the pastor can not personally visit everyone so a deacon or elder board should divide up the congregation so each board member has responsibility for overseeing a portion of the church. (see “The Living Presence” in my series “Rebuilding The kingdom” for pastors and church leaders) Small group fellowships enable people to get to know each other and develop a concern for each other. Developing a concern for someone goes beyond merely knowing about them, it involves caring about what happens to them. As they get to know each other, they are more willing to share who they really are and that they have needs. They also begin to care about each other and minister to each other’s needs. People who care about each other seek to help each other grow and prosper.


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