January 2009

A Gospel-Formed Community, Value 3 of 6:
Celebrating our Relationships
Over the last 18 months we as a church had a discussion about our values, our mission and vision, and what makes us tick. 6 key values were highlighted that we feel most enhance our life together. So ok, we’ve said about ourselves as a congregation that one of the main things we value is our relationships. This, of course, is not noteworthy. Doesn’t every church say the same? You don’t hear churches saying about themselves, “We aren’t really that friendly, but at least we have great worship.” Of course we like each other. Of course we miss you when you’re gone. What else are we going to say?

But we didn’t say it to bring in visitors, or for an advertisement. We said it to each other, about ourselves, for ourselves. Community “nurtures and challenges us.” That’s like sitting down to lunch with a friend and saying, “I really appreciate you.” We said this because it is an honest reflection of our reality. We don’t just like church, we like each other and appreciate walking through life together.

So my questions this week are (Pick one or all to answer and discuss):

  • Are church relationships more important, less important, or equally important to you than relationships with co-workers, friends, neighbors, or family? Why?
  • Is seeing church people once a week on Sunday mornings enough relationship for you? What if your answer is different than someone else’ answer?
  • How do we stay connected over the vast urban sprawl that is Houston, and over the vast time between Sundays?
  • Testimony time! How has Christian community blessed you?
  •  How does our church size enhance our depth of community?
  • What holds us back, or has held us back, from even closer relationships?
  • How can we re-conceive of our “Sharing Time” in Sunday worship to help build community?
  • Does anyone want to come over for dinner?
  • What do we mean by such buzzwords as “authenticity” and “transparency” anyway?
  • Is it possible to value something without investing time and energy into actions?
  • What are ways we can incorporate relationship-building practices into our existing life and ministry settings (such as SS, our meetings, our worship, person to person interactions, email, the web, etc…)?
  • Are there new settings/events/activities that we need to create to enhance our life together? If so, what are they, and how would they help to enhance our life together?
  • Our Scriptures this week are Psalm 133, Romans 12:3-8, and Philippians 1:3-11.

Please enter in and discuss with each other the value of Christian relationships. Pastor Marty will incorporate the dialogue into his sermon for this Sunday, Feb 1. But most of the pay-off is in your own thoughts and dialogue. Thanks!
May our life together be formed by grace and much love!

Marty Troyer (Pastor)

A Gospel-Formed Community, Value 2 of 6:
Celebrating our Worship.

This is our second week of test-driving a web-based discussion. All are welcome and encouraged to participate! Feel free to respond in whatever way you want, highlighting any one of the following questions (or all of them). In the comments, feel free to interact as much as you want with this post and with each other! Like last week, I will incorporate your thoughts into our worship January 25. But most of the benefit is in your interaction with each other!

  • Why do we worship anyway?
  • Personally, how do you worship in meaningful ways?
  • What actions make up what you consider “worship”? Can it be different for different people?
  • Where and when does worship happen?
  • What did we mean when we said that worship “shapes” us? How does it shape us? What does it shape us into?
  • How does worship help us discern our mission and guide us in action? Or are they connected?
  • What are the resources available to help us worship in meaningful ways?
  • Our texts for Sunday’s worship service are Psalm 95, Romans 11:33-12:2, and Revelation 5. What are your reflections on the use of Scripture in worship?

 Marty Troyer (Pastor)