What if church looked a little more like this once in a while?

Relax. I'm simply asking the question.

I'm not suggesting we do only this. 

But what if church looked a little more like this once in a while?

There are over forty one-another commands in the New Testament. (For example: Love one another, pray for one another, encourage one other, bear with one another, forgive one another, greet one another warmly, etc.) 

Yet, it is more than possible that a person in America could attend church Sunday after Sunday without ever meaningfully engaging another person—even though there is a planned "greet-your-neighbor" part of the service. 
I hope we can all agree on this: Church should never be the place we go to be alone together. 

I have heard some church people say, "Well, in our culture people just want to attend the Sunday church service, hear the pastor preach, and get out the door. We're all busy."

I hear you. I get it.

But this raises an important philosophical question:
If we're not aspiring to live-out the "one-anothers" of the Bible with others somewhere in our lives, are we being the church?

It's just a question.

But considering the beautiful, robust, and on-mission Christian community pictured in the very first church in Acts 2:42-47, the question above seems like a fair question.

Jesus said seemingly crazy things like this: "By this shall all people know you're my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35). It's difficult to "love" other Christians if you don't interact with them on some level. Am I right?

"But you'll chase people away from church if you try to get them to engage beyond sitting in a pew."

I hear you. We might lose people. Jesus did. 

But what might be gained? 

You might be surprised.

I  know and love a crazy pastor who is taking the whole church through the Ministry Is Relationships disciplemaking training experience and slowly walking through the One Another Living Guide during the Sunday morning services over the next few months. That's right. He's not only preaching on Sunday mornings at his church. He's daring to also equip his friends who attend so they will love God, love people, and make disciples right where they live—Monday through Saturday. The pictures above come from these Sunday morning equipping gatherings.

After one Sunday morning of interactive equipping-the-saints-to-do-the-work-of-ministry, he sent this text to me: "Powerful morning! Three new families came. I was concerned how they'd feel about the sharing, engaging Scripture and praying with others in small groups gathered around tables. The Lord worked through those very things to touch their hearts. 'Feels like a family' one said. 'Never been to a church where people talk to each other like this.' Another said. 'That was hard but really good for me,' And yet another said,  'My wife talked with a new lady who started crying when she opened up about her relationship with God. She said. I'm not doing very well in my relationship with God. Is that ok?' She was able to love her, encourage her, and pray with her. Also, I talked with a guy who said. "I don't know how to pray can you just pray for me?" It was an awesome Spirit-led Sunday morning of church! So much fun!"

And if you thought this couldn't get any better, there's more: "All three of those new families, each who've never been connected to church, came from relational connections with people in our church who have felt equipped and launched by the recent Sunday morning disciplemaking trainings we've been doing. Thank you for equipping me to equip others who are now starting to equip others!"

Just to be clear: I'm not saying YOU should do this during the Sunday morning church service. 

There. I said it. 

Why? It may not be wise for you at this time—or ever. And the truth is: You can still get to one-anothering! How? I gently remind you that there are six other mornings/days/nights of the week you could gather the willing for a time of mutual encouragement and interactive equipping.

All I'm asking you to ponder is: 
What if church looked a little more like the one-anothering we see in the Bible?

It's just a question.

What's your response?


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