Friday, May 25, 2007

Community Anyone?

We are lonely people. We feel it all the time. We feel it when we come home at night and the phone doesn't ring. We feel it when sadness kicks in and no one seems to care. We feel it when we are still at the office at 9 pm. We feel it when we go to bed alone. It's not that we don't try to relate to others, but that doesn't seem to satisfy us. We get disappointed when people don't meet all our needs (even though they were never meant to - that's God's job). The problem is we really don't understand what community is and what it takes to have it. It's a buzz word these days, but the reality of community seems to elude us. We need to get a grip on what community really is.

Community flows out of who God is.

The Father, Son and Spirit live in perfect relationship while on mission together (mission is important to experiencing authentic community). So if you want to tap into community the way it was meant to be experienced, get close to God. Repent (right now) of the sin that stands in the way of you relating to God. If you are experiencing loneliness, I'll bet anything your walk with God is less than stellar.

Here's some more about community that I borrowed from a friend:

Community is experiencing Christ through one another.

Community is knowing and being known, serving and being served, celebrating and being celebrated. Community is hanging out with Christian friends and laughing about stupid things. Community is gradually opening up our true selves to people and letting them see who we really are. Community is telling each other the truth in love.

Community is not just being "nice."

True community involves being in a bad mood and still being pleasant to others. Community means asking for help. To be in community means to be in need. To feel other peoples' pain, that's community. To think more about what others need, that's community. Community involves crying and looking foolish in front of others. To be in community means to be uncomfortable at times. Community involves risking our image. Community is not just eating together. Community is not seeing people at church. Community is not saying, "Fine" when asked how you are doing. To be in community involves using your phone a lot.

To experience community is to arrange one's life in such a way that fellow members of the church are seen not as a burden to deal with, but friends with which to do life.

Community is seeing church as a family to belong to, not a service to go to. Community involves simplifying one's lifestyle in order to welcome others.

Community means sacrificing time and money for those who need either. To listen more than you talk is community. To work out all conflicts and never hold grudges is community. Community is the way of Jesus who related to and lived with twelve very imperfect men when he could have accomplished his mission and lived his life without them. Jesus showed us how to do community by who he was and how he lived.

Let's be a church that just doesn't have the word community listed in our brochures and website. Let's be a church that experiences authentic community and models it to the world around us.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Get Outside Yourself

We learn in Scripture that we are created for a greater purpose than satisfying fleeting pleasures (read Ecclesiastes). Moreover, we learn that our life is more than just about our life and our lifetime (Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 48:13, 71:18, 78:4). We have been created to effect those around us in our generation and generations to come. If you have been a Christian for a while, you get that.

Well the same is true for churches. Jubilee doesn't exist just for Jubilee. It exists for people outside of Jubilee. And not just people in St. Louis, but the nation and even the world. That is why it is critically important and a privilege to be a part of the Newfrontiers family of churches (go to for more info). It's an opportunity for us to tap into something bigger than ourselves. To be a part of a worldwide, grace-filled mission-minded group that is reaching all different kinds of people. Starting churches in places where there is not a current expression of the body of Christ, feeding the poor in Africa and raising up a new generation of leaders that will live on well beyond our lifetime.

This is why next week, we'll load up our cars and drive to Central Missouri State University to live in dorms for a couple of days, eat cafeteria food and pay money for it. So that we can band together with other wild-eyed, grace-filled, mission-minded people who want to make a difference beyond themselves and beyond what any one local church could do (regardless of size). It costs us something to go outside ourselves, but the payoff is huge and the direction Scripture pushes us toward.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


We have no idea what it's like to live in a country like Zimbabwe. It's pretty much unimaginable for us. We all got bent out of shape last year when the power was out for a few days. We wanted blood from Ameren. In Zim, they have a massive power outage every day and sometimes go without water. Here's a news article to read about the situation:Link

For those of you unaware of Jubilee's relationship with Newfrontiers, we are connected with over 500 churches in over 30 nations including Zimbabwe. And our relationship with Zimbabwe is not an artificial one or simply a name on a list. They have come over to be with us and we have been over there to be with them. And even though financially, we have more, it's feels like they have given much more to us. It's truly a blessing to be in relationship and on mission with them, as well as our other brothers in Newfrontiers.

Be in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe.

It's a blogitty blog world

OK, OK, OK I will try blogging. Just because I'm young (31) it's assumed that I somehow should "be one" with technology. We'll I'm a bit of a late adapter and a little bit old school. I just hope I get used to it before blogging becomes a thing of the past.

Anyway, for those who subscribe, I hope you find this helpful. If it's not, please send in your protests and I'll put it asleep.