an eye-opening lesson on biblical community

Sometimes I think I know a lot about church. On Sunday, I learned some very important stuff.

We visited a small church in central Minnesota on Sunday, they asked me to come and preach in the morning service and stay for the evening gathering.  There were only about 25 people in the morning service. The people were very nice, they welcomed us with open arms. We enjoyed ourselves.

Sometimes we assume that it takes a large church to do a good job at ministry. Sometimes we are wrong. After a long day spent with this lovely congregation, I was thoroughly impressed. After about seven hours spent with them (including the after service gathering at Perkins), we were convinced.

They are a small church, but…

They are committed. Nearly everyone who came in the morning returned in the evening.

They love the community around them. They feed about 40 families a month from their food shelf.

They support each other. They prayed sincerely for each other and followed up on previous needs.

They embrace new people. They were very interactive and supportive of a new family that has only been coming about one month.

They care about and for each other. I overheard discussions about offers to help with projects and checking in on the elderly.

They just loved being together. You couldn’t pry them away from the conversation, the laughter at Perkins was genuine and rich.

They don’t demand perfection. They were not distracted by less-than-superior performance in the worship service. They just focused on God.

The funny thing is, on Sunday morning, I preached about how the church must grow  warmer through fellowship. Little did I know that they were the ones who should have been preaching to me.

That church understands real, genuine Biblical community. They don’t have a fancy mission statement. They don’t identify themselves as missional. There is nothing “mega” about them. But they get community. I learned some things.

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