Filled Pages: Thoughts from This Morning’s Gatherings

Filled pages from 'Count The Cost' Macedonia Baptist Church Community Group Material

Filled pages from ‘Count The Cost’ Macedonia Baptist Church Community Group Material

It appears that we are off to a good start in our community gatherings and I see a number of groups beginning to solidify into their identity. I heard a lot of dialog about this notion of grace. What is it? How does it work? What is it when it is cheapened? I believe we are in a good place when we take time to weigh the value of God’s grace in comparison to anything else. AND then conclude properly that God’s incomprehensible will to grant perfect things to clay should produce a lifestyle and lifelong pursuit of saying thank you. It is humbling but necessary.

If you are leading/attending a community gathering tonight or if you are a follower of in general I had a few miscellaneous thoughts in no particular order for your consideration AND also feel free to share your response:

  • Listen. Now is the time to start listening to your community. Silence is a good thing. Give people time to think when you pose questions. It makes it clear your question is not rhetoric and their response is of utmost value to you.
  • There is something intriguing regarding grace and receiving it from those outside the household of faith. I think it is a discussion delving into.
  • What type of grace do you extend? If someone described it what would they say?
  • Lesson 2 at the core is about understanding God’s value in His Gospel. We have to see His value because how we value something will always be subjected to how we feel any given day.
  • There is a hunger for understanding God and how He works with His people. People want to know Him better. Leverage that hunger in means beyond your gathering time.
  • I did not see many people who were not aware of their frailties. They may not know how to deal with all of them. Or they may not have unfolded the cover to see them in their entirety. But they knew they were there. If you are the same you will fit right in.
  • I see some communities looking at how to be transformative toward others outside of gathering days. This is good fruitful vision and purpose. You cannot adequately  “love one another” on a night in a room where no one moves around.
  • It is nice to see an urban church develop a bittersweet relationship with Bonhoeffer and tarry in real, non-rhetorical terms about what it means to follow a savior who is perfect. “I can’t stand Bonhoeffer!” is awesome to me because we are thinking about saints before us and trying to determine our direction today without living in isolation.

Lastly what I was particularly intrigued by is the filling of pages with their own notes. People have thoughts and concerns and questions. They have experiences and goals they are trying to reconcile. If you are like me you get a little frantic and stressed looking for the next eloquent thing to say or the right answer or the wise direction. There are few people in my life where I can sit quietly with and feel no need to say a word because we know each other so well that there are no insecurities. I’m not suggesting doing this with your community. What I am suggesting is perhaps your community has something to say for you. If your people (that is your community) that you have owned fills their pages with wonder and musings and thoughts about God. Filled pages about His people. And filled pages about their following after Him then perhaps you do not need to say a word. Their filled pages become your questions:

What have you filled your page with?



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