Relationship-Centric (Epistle from a Sick Man)

August 18, 2003

[sick]I just got up the strength to write the following email to our group…

Hi Gang,

I called in sick to work today. Actually, I was feeling so ill, Kay sent the email for me. Kay has longer stretches of doing better but the pain still hits her. So we’d better call off the gathering this Wednesday. …At least, not at our place. Let me explain.

This is an opportunity for our group to grow and stretch. One of my concerns with churches in general is that they tend to be meeting-centric. We talk about “going to church” because that’s what the language has done to the word — and language shapes the way we think. This same mentality bleeds over into home groups: haven’t you asked, “Are you going to home group tonight?” Whether in large groups or small, we face the danger of being meeting-centric, program-centric.

But the call of God on the Body of Christ, especially in the emerging post-Christian culture we live in, is to be relationship-centric.

A dear friend of mine helped lead a home group in New York. The group was part of a “cell church,” that is, a church based on small groups or “cell groups.” Even in a church environment like that, the person overseeing their group observed that they were very meeting-centric. To challenge them to grow outside of meetings, the overseer asked them to cancel their meetings for several weeks! They did this, and spent those weeks trying to figure out how to live and share the Life on a day-to-day basis.

This is your chance, gang. Most of you are free this Wednesday night. I want to challenge you to get together without us. If Kay & I are doing our job right, we are facilitators; the Holy Spirit is our leader. Our group won’t really be functioning as a body until we all work together to follow the Holy Spirit.

If space is a problem (now that we are so many), you might consider gathering at a cheap place to eat.

Don’t just chew the fat; we are not a social club. We are Cross Training, aiming for spiritual growth. We are spurring each other on toward love and good deeds. Let’s not give up getting together (as some are in the habit of doing), but let’s encourage each other, with our eyes on the Eternal One. Share. Pray. Reach out.

We love you guys. Keep us in your prayers. Focus on Jesus.
— Jon

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

One response to Relationship-Centric (Epistle from a Sick Man)

  1. Four of us have started “meeting” at the local Books a Million on Tuesday nights after eating dinner together and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the amount of interaction we’ve had with other people.