If you decided to go home for Christmas, where would you go? For you, where do you consider home? What comes to mind when someone mentions home? Where does your mind go, and what do you remember most when you think of home?
If you found out that you were going home for Christmas, how would you feel? What would be your emotional reaction: happiness, love, belonging……anxiety, frustration, anger?
For the next few posts, get ready to feel something; maybe one of the emotions previously mentioned. Buckle up, we are going Home fo Christmas.
Continuing from last’s post topic, I want to tell you what we added that helped us keep the “Cheer’s Factor” from dying within our community of believers.
We added something called “Friends”.
Friends is our small groups ministry. I believe people participating in small groups it is the best way to grow closer as the church grows larger. On the first and the third Sunday night of every month, Faithco meets in smaller groups in homes all across our city and county. Friends is a place where people can feel accountability, belonging, and care. While it may be easy to get lost in the crowd during weekend worship, Friends makes sure that people stay connected to others within the church.
There is something very powerful about believers meeting in homes. I have found that believers meeting in homes is where people develope close relationships –something that is difficult to do at weekend worship gatherings.
Although I would not consider our Friends ministry “house church”, I think Friends ministry resembles and fulfills a lot of the house church functions since it is His church gathering in homes. Then, once a week the church comes together to celebrate on a grander scale.
Basically, I believe we are called to fellowship –the connection and enjoyment or doing life with other believers. If you don’t experience the Cheer’s factor within your life, take a chance, sign up for Friends or some other small group in another church you may attend.
I haven’t blogged in a couple weeks. I’ve been away on a planning retreat. Thanks for your patience.
In my last blog, I discussed the importance of investment into friendships. Today I want to talk about something that I have discovered through our church that has helped cultivate friendships -real friendships.
In the early stages of our church as we began to grow, we noticed that we were losing something I like to refer to as the “Cheer’s Factor” –you know, where everyone knows your name, and they are all so glad you came. It is that sense on community that we feel when we are with people we know and love. When our church had 50-150 people it seemed that we did everything together. All the announcements were to everyone in the church, and it seemed that everyone attended all church functions. We went to all baby showers. We visited all sick people. We attended all weddings. Everyone came to all events. This was great because we were experiencing the friendships, the fun, and the excitement of community within our church.
However, something bad happened — we kept growing. Growing isn’t bad, in fact it is an awesome thing; however, it was bad for the Cheer’s Factor in our church. The Cheer’s Factor was not so much a factor anymore, especially after our attendance grew beyond what our auditorium could hold. Then, when we added a second worship experience, it seemed like the Cheer’s Factor was completely gone, and it would be all but gone had we not added something to our church community that saved the Cheer’s Factor.
I’ll tell you what we added later. If you attend faithco, you probably already know.
Do you know anyone who you would consider a “worthless friend”? You know…… that person in your life who brings nothing to the table of your friendship. He calls you and when you ask him “what’s up?” he replies, “nothing, I was bored so I thought I’d call”. You don’t know why you are even friends with this person, and you feel that your friend is the only person who is benefitting from this dysfunctional friendship.
Do you sit down at lunch with a friend who does nothing but talk about herself and her problems without asking about you? If she does ask about you, it is just to be cordial, but there is no sincerity in her voice or questions.
Sometimes you may think “Why am I even friends with this person?”
The issue is not with your friend as much as it is with you. Why? I believe it is because you have forgotten one of the most important aspects for every good friendship: Confrontation.
I read something the other day that talked about friends and confrontation that said “friends stab each other in the front” In other words, friends confront each other when necessary.
Too many times we let things in our friendships that need to be confronted go on too long. We don’t confront because it my cause an awkward or uncomfortable moment in the friendship. Remember this next sentence and remember to do this in love:
SAY WHAT NEEDS TO BE SAID.
Plain and simple. If we don’t confront our friends with what is bothering us then we will grow to despise them, which will in turn destroy the friendship.
So I ask you today, what friend of yours needs to be confronted about something you have let go on too long? Do it.
Not too long ago, for the first time in my life I asked myself how good of a friend I was.
It has occured to me that I am not that good of a friend. Why? Why am I not such a good friend? I have had to ask myself this question because although I may not be a good friend, I would like to have good friends.
The bible mentions true friendship in Proverbs 18:24:
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. ESV
I guess if a person has too many friends, it probably isn’t a good thing. I suppose it is better to have a few good….close friends.
I’m learning that if I am to have good friends, I will need to be one.
What is a good friend? How do I become one? Why does it matter?
I hope to answer these questions in my next few posts.