Hey everyone, Tim here.
One thing I think we can all take away from this series thus far is that "belief" isn't a noun, it's a verb. Believing isn't just agreeing with an ideology or a series of doctrines, it's allowing a different world view to drive how life is lived! One aspect that is so critical to living out a belief is recognizing what role we're created to play, what impact we can make.
If you joined us this past Sunday, Pastor Chris talked about being ourselves: not trying to be like every one else and doing it the way they are doing it, but embracing our unique personalities and capabilities. There seems to be a subtle, maybe even implicit, undertone within the modern church that says for you to make any kind of impact you have to be "in the ministry." That's really an unfortunate misunderstanding of how following Christ is supposed to look.
When I was in school, my Church History Professor would talk about how Christianity spread during it's beginning stages. And while we like to think that Paul and Peter and the pillars of the church were taking the message to the masses, in fact the opposite was true. The message of Jesus was spread by merchants, soldiers, even slaves, as they traveled from area to area interacting with other people throughout the course of their daily lives.
Just look at how the church in Antioch began (one of the oldest Christian churches). It was started by "regular" Christians who fled persecution in Jerusalem, moved to Antioch, and started telling people there about the life that is only found in Jesus (READ).
Every person in this world has things that they are poor at and things that they are great at. Every person in this world has a unique social circle that they move in. I'm going to be able to influence people you'll never meet, and you'll have an opportunity to influence people I'll never meet. I can't speak like Pastor Chris, but I'm pretty decent at writing. You may not be able to write, but maybe you can hang drywall, organize an event, sing, counsel, mow a lawn, lend a smile, make a meal or teach a class.
What if we took the things we were great at, used them in the social circles we find ourselves in, and do them with love and compassion for the people we interact with? What if we realize that every situation is an opportunity to spread God's love. Saint Francis said, "Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words." What if we stopped agreeing with the Bible and started living like Jesus?