Archives For Biblical Community

Neighbors at the fenceSeveral years ago Randy Frazee and Rick Howerton launched me and my family into a lifestyle of making room for neighbors. That lifestyle continues today and we continue to see the multiplication as neighbors repeat the practice.

It all began with a 42-inch picket fence. Randy, in his book The Connecting Church, encourages the readers to not build privacy fences. He says to build 42-inch picket fences so you can talk over them to your neighbors. I even joke that 42iinch tall fence is perfect height to lean on as you talk. Fortunately, when we moved into our neighborhood, both our neighbors had 42-inch sectional fences.

For the first couple of years, I would make time for neighbors by talking to them over the backyard fence. Many times I would lean on their fences and chat. This investment over time developed into a deep friendship. The couple joined our small group. We ate meals together. We helped each other with projects, doctor visits, and service to other neighbors. We shared a lot of laughter about what God had done through our relationship that started by leaning on a backyard fence.

The time came when our neighbors had to move. It was a very sad day for us. We trusted God in what He was doing in all of our lives. They moved into an apartment in a much larger city, where they knew no one.

About a year after moving, I received a call from our friends. We caught up on old times. We laughed about the projects and ‘trouble’ we used to get into together. Then my friend mentioned our backyard conversations and how I leaned on his fence as we talked about projects, life, family and God.  He complained how he thought I had wore the paint off his rail fence by standing there so many times as we talked.  He then said “You know, I am doing that same thing with a guy who is far from Christ right here in our apartment building, except I am using a truck fender since we do not have a fence.”  We both laughed out loud.

God had used a fence and many conversations over time to draw an entire family to Him. Now, He is multiplying that practice to the next recipient hours away from where it started.

Spring is here and summer is near! Beautiful weather invites you to come lean on a fence.

Post by Eddie Mosley, GroupLife Pastor. The original post is from Eddie’s blog, Connecting in Communities, where you can read more stories and gain valuable tools for leading groups. Eddie has written a book with the same title as his blog, Connecting in Communities. Eddie brings an infectious enthusiasm for people to experience life-change at LifePoint as he gives direction and strategy to adult small groups and other adult ministries. You can also follow Eddie on Twitter and Facebook.

LP Kids: Patience

In May, LP Kids will learn Patience in our SoulStation series “Keep It Cool”. As a fruit of the Spirit, patience is a foundational way we reflect God’s character. When we show patience, we are less likely to hurt our relationships with others. We are more likely to trust that God has something better for us in the future. Parents, you can be prepared to point your kids to Jesus this month from the article below provided by the ReThink Group. Be sure to check out more resources as you point your children to Jesus: the Parent Cue App, GodTime Card, and Parent Cue Card.

From the very beginning, God has shown patience with people. All the way back in the garden, when Adam and Eve first chose their own way instead of God’s, God started His plan to give all of us a chance to come back to Him. And time and again, God is patient with us when we make daily choices that separate us from Him. He waits for us to turn back to Him.

Patience is waiting until later for what you want now. Waiting isn’t always easy. When having patience seems too difficult, the Lord will give us strength to wait. At its core, patience is fueled by faith. We trust that what we’re waiting for is best for us.

But patience is more than just waiting. It’s also about our attitude while we wait. A patient person can wait with joy even when the situation might be stressful or anxious. A patient person avoids searching or settling for a quick fix.

The monthly memory verse is: “Wait for the Lord. Be strong and don’t lose hope. Wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14, NIrV Sometimes it feels too hard to be strong while we wait, but our trust in God gives us the strength to wait well.

In Week One’s Bible story, Esau comes in from hunting and is very hungry (Genesis 25:24-34). Because he can’t wait, Esau ends up trading his entire inheritance for a full stomach. Our Bottom Line is: When you think you can’t wait, think twice. Don’t give up what’s best for something immediate.

In Week Two’s Bible story, the Israelites grew impatient waiting for Moses to finish meeting with God (Exodus 32:1-35) and asked Aaron to build an idol for them. Our Bottom Line is: When you think you can’t wait, don’t forget what’s true. God had put Moses in charge of the Israelites and led them out of slavery. But in a moment of impatience, they forgot everything they’d experienced.

In Week Three’s Bible story, Hannah wants to become a mother but is waiting for a baby (1 Samuel 1:9–2:1). Even through the sadness of her prayers, God gives her the strength to wait until the time is right. Our Bottom Line is: When you think you can’t wait, tell God about it. God wants us to talk to Him when we’re facing a difficult time.

In Week Four’s biblical principle, we learn the wisdom of being patient (Proverbs 14:29). Our Bottom Line is: When you think you can’t wait, don’t lose your cool. We can work hard to keep control of our words, actions, and attitudes while we wait. That way we can avoid doing something we might regret.

For God, it seems as though patience is all about relationships with people. Even after we sinned, He still pursued us. He waited time after time for people to repent and work to make things right. Something He still does today.

By Jessica McKee ©2013 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. www.ThinkOrange.com *Used by permission.

Get Messy

LifePoint Church —  February 1, 2013 — 2 Comments

Get Messy - PeaceWhen sin entered the world so long ago in that magnificent garden, a deep chasm was created between us and our loving Father. Despite the separation he felt, God still loved us and longed for that relationship to be restored. God showed that he cared about peace in our relationship with Him when he sent His Son as a sacrifice for our sins.

That was the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate act of peace and it was messy. In this crazy, broken world, we are often on a search for peace. Some days we want to crawl in a quiet corner of the room and take a deep breath, escaping from the hectic lifestyles we lead. God wants us to have peace in our life and in our relationships.

God’s Word says in Romans 14:19, “So let us do all we can to live in peace. And let us work hard to build each other up.”

I have a sister who is four years younger than me. Our personalities are so completely different we often wonder how we ended with the same parents. I never realized that two people from the same family could be so completely different, until I had kids of my own. Needless to say, the differences between my sister and I caused terrible fights and strained our relationship. On an occasion or two, I can even remember some hair pulling. Those fights are the most unpleasant memories of my childhood. However, my sister and I have both found the peace of knowing Christ and have become great friends. We still disagree but not on the same level as when we were kids. We have learned to prove we care more about each other than winning an argument. God wants us to have peace in our relationships. He wants us to walk away from an argument whether it’s with our boss, spouse or kids.

He wants each of us to let go of “what’s fair” and teach our kids this principal. He wants our families to prove we care about others by becoming part of the solution in our schools, workplaces, churches, sports teams and any other place we can make an impact. It is through these actions that people will recognize we are different; giving us a chance to share the love of Christ with them. Taking time and effort to uphold peace in our relationships is messy. It’s hard. Like Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, it will cost us something. But, it’s ultimately what God wants us to do. So get to it and “get messy.”

Each month in LifePoint Kids, leaders point K-5th graders to a Christ-centered life through a virtue found throughout the Bible. These principles help each child grow in wisdom and stature just like Jesus. February’s focus in LifePoint Kids is Peace, you can find more here. You can also find Family Devotionals to carry home the virtue through the week under the ‘Connect’ section in LifePoint’s iOS and Android apps.

Post by Heidi Binder, LifePoint Kids Director at our Stewarts Creek Campus. Heidi brings a contagious energy to pointing kids to Jesus. You can connect Heidi through Facebook.

The Five!

Jason Stewart —  October 30, 2012 — Leave a comment

Five Characteristics of a Christ-centered Life

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LifePoint’s mission is to passionately and intentionally point people to life centered on Jesus and His mission. As we all take steps in our journey to be Christ-centered, how can we describe what a Christ-centered life looks like? What is the target? What are the key components? What are the expectations that we have for our faith family; more importantly, what are the expectations God has for us? Our five characteristics are key ingredients that we find in Scripture that we feel best described a Christ-centered life. We want to live these out corporately as the Body of Christ and as families and individuals. Our leaders work tirelessly to create environments where we can grow in these characteristics. The ultimate goal is for each and everyone of us to incorporate these five attributes in our daily life, allow them to build more in our life, and to multiply them into others.

Worship

We are all wired for worship. Often we direct our worship to the wrong things—career, others, ourselves, money or other material things. We are God’s creation and He alone deserves and demands our worship: our mind’s attention and heart’s affection. At LifePoint, we best live out the characteristic of worship through weekly corporate worship gatherings at our campuses and through individual, private worship by reading God’s Word, prayer and other personal spiritual habits.

Biblical Community

Because we are created for community, we gather all ages into small groups for relationships built around God’s Word. In small groups, men and women of all ages are engaged in discipleship, community and service.

Service

It has been said we are never more like Christ than when we are serving. We recognize that each person has been shaped for service. We can’t grow without serving and we cannot serve without growing. At LifePoint, we encourage each person to engage in two arenas of service: 1. Ministry inside the walls of the church and 2. Missions outside the walls of the church.

Influence

The influence of Jesus extends across every continent, thousands of years and billions of lives. As Christ-followers, we each have the commission to influence our community and world as we “go” about our days sharing the love, justice and truth of God. At LifePoint, we best live out the characteristic of influence as we invest in people in our circles of influence and invite them to LifePoint or other next steps in their Journey—what we often call, “invest to invite.”

Generosity

Jesus modeled and taught us to give our lives away. Generosity with our time and treasures are often the greatest barometers of our spiritual journey. At LifePoint, we have found the Biblical practice and mandate of tithing is the greatest step we can take in the characteristic of generosity.

Christ-centered Journey

Jason Stewart —  October 30, 2012 — 1 Comment

Jesus said He came to give abundant life for all Christ-followers…a Christ-centered life. With energy and intention, LifePoint coaches and encourages each person to discover a Christ-centered life by taking next steps in their Christ-centered Journey. We each have a unique Journey yet the Journey is similar through the common stages we each travel spiritually. Through God’s Word, we see a Christ-centered Journey best defined by five characteristics found in the Bible and displayed by those who live a Christ-centered life.

Stages of our Christ-centered Journey

Exploring

People “exploring” Christianity are disconnected from God and have yet to begin a personal relationship with Jesus. God created each and every one of us so that our life would bring him glory. Sin separates us from God and we are in need of His intervention. We all start at this stage because of our sin condition. Thankfully, God is for His glory and as a result for us to be redeemed into a relationship with Him to display His goodness.

Beginning

This is where the “real” journey begins with a new and forever relationship with Jesus. A person can best be described as an infant Christ-follower. Much like physical development, spiritual development begins with dependence upon other Christ-followers for growth and development in their “baby steps.”

Growing

“Growing” in our Christ-centered Journey is a season where Christ-followers are beginning to take increasing steps in their spiritual journey, specifically through the five characteristics of a Christ-centered life. Often, their spiritual life can be described as enthusiastic about their faith with many significant steps still to be made.

Maturing

A Christ-follower in the “maturing” phase is moving into a God-first and others-first outlook. In comparison to human development, this stage resembles a young adult in development…making significant contributions to God’s Kingdom and assembling the beliefs and habits for a life-time of living for God’s purpose.

Christ-centered

A Christ-follower who is Christ-centered experiences the joy of Christ by defining everything in their life by their position and purpose in Christ. God is all they need and they live to be a reflection of Jesus. They are reproducing their faith and life in other Christ-followers in the preceding stages…on mission, in unity, with intention.