My friend Donovan sent me an email that will help Christians, pastors, and church planters:
This message is from a recent Acts29 Boot Camp. It’s pretty quiet at first, but hang in there – the volume quality gets better. Here’s the message: http://www.acts29network.org/sermon/influence-through-community/. If you don’t have time to listen to it, consider these questions posed in the message:– Who in your life knows the sin you struggle with?– Who do you meet with regularly to pray?– With whom are you living a life of love in front of amazed unbelievers?– Who has corrected you in some area of your life lately? Who have you corrected lately?– Who are you currently discipling and teaching with Scripture?– Who do you meet with regularly to discuss what you’re learning in Scripture?– Who will be by your hospital bed to comfort and encourage you? Whose hopsital bed will you be at when they need someone there?– Who will fight to keep you straying from the faith?– Who do you serve with, using the gifts God has given you?– Who are you partnering with to reach the lost?– Who do you meet with when your marriage is struggling? Who prays for your marriage consistantly?– Who are you encouraging daily?– Who have you counseled with the Word of God lately?
Howard says every Christian should be able to answer these questions. If not, they’re probably just going to a service, not genuinely a part of authentic Church community. And if we allow this in our churches, we facilitate an unbiblical understanding and practice of “church” amongst our people.