MV Gathering Blog

6/12/17

Summer

Everybody loves summer! It is an exciting time of the year when people emerge from their homes, kids are playing everywhere, picnics, vacations, and all the other fun things we dream of are happening. For us who live in the Midwest, we often imagine summer being 12 months long!

Have a Blast

Summer’s a time to unwind, have fun, and do the things you’ve dreamed of doing in warm weather. Fun in the sun is a great relaxer, stress reducer, and absolutely vital to our well-being. Make the most of your summer.

Have a Plan

Summer goes by in a flash. Plan for things you would like to do with your own family and for God’s family! For example, we always try to spend specific time with as many people as possible over the Summer. You could try to simply invite two or three neighbors over and get acquainted better. Go to a park together, walk together several times a week, start a Bible study, etc. My favorite Summer activity is grilling out. Why? Obviously the answer is meat.

Three Important Words

When building relationships, the three following words will make a big difference towards establishing a vibrant relationship:

• Include—When you’re having a picnic, going to the park, doing things in the backyard, or playing with kids, include others in your neighborhood or social circle. You will be amazed at how easy it is to bring them into what you’re doing. People who are included quickly become good friends.

• Invest—Amy and I have been asking neighbors to church events and to small groups for years. We find the ones who generally accept our invitations are the ones in whom we have invested. Investing means we serve them when we get an opportunity, invite them over, talk to them when we see them outside their homes, and in general try to be good friends/neighbors.

• Invite—Don’t be hesitant to invite friends to your home, your locker room, or even to church. Our society has grown very shy about inviting others to do anything. Yet surveys continually show that people would respond positively if invited to almost any event. What an opportunity to share the joy in your heart by inviting them.

Share the Joy

Being in the family of God, we experience wonderful community with one another. We have been given an unspeakable joy that is bubbling out of us at all times. In living this out, the world will see this reflection of God through us. A good way to let people see it is to include, invest, and invite them. We believe that when people get to know us and the great God within us, they will desire the same.

Have a Great Summer

Make this a summer that goes beyond all others. Do special things with your family and friends. Make it a summer to bring the message of Jesus Christ to all your friends, neighbors and relatives who don’t yet know Him. These activities will bring lasting rewards that will put a big smile on your face and a joy in your heart.

Final Thoughts

We have good news to share. Take the time to get to know those around you this summer. You will be blessed, the Kingdom will be blessed, and the people in your circle of influence will be blessed. 

It’s exciting to be part of a church that is continually gathering in people to advance the Kingdom. May God bless you this summer.

Blessings,

Bruce


6/5/17
1 OF THE BIGGEST CARDINAL SINS I SEE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST MAKE

Two things we can likely agree on right off the bat (for those most likely to read this post):

• We need Jesus.
• We need one another.

I believe those 2 statements with every ounce of my fiber and being.

You’ve heard phrases like ‘Life was not meant to be lived alone’ or ‘There are no self-made men/women, we all had folks invest in us to get us where we are.’
 
Everything I try to build my life on and those in my sphere is developed from the two truths about Jesus and others.

Whenever I hear a message, read a blog/article, that speaks to the Bible’s “one anothers,” my ears perk up. If I was slouching, I instantly gain better posture.

Sadly though, I see us accept a reality all too often. It blows my mind every time.
A person will be in community and then they miss. They miss a time together again. Maybe the once reliable responder now allows for breaks in communication.
 
They aren’t easy to reach, no one sees them in previously familiar spots.
 
The common reasoning is “I’m going through a difficult time personally or with another person or challenging circumstance.”

(Pause.)

(Pause again.)

What should then not happen? Accept that response, right?
 
Yet, most of the time in my experience, we do. We’ll give them their space.

No.
No!
NOOOOOOO!!

Fight with them. Fight for them. To a degree, fight them.

But don’t let that be. Speaking unwise words …. don’t …. Let it be!!

Stephen Mansfield (www.stephenmansfield.tv) tells the story of a primarily African American church in the south that saw the leader of its men’s ministry become hurt and frustrated with some of the men.

He retreated and stayed in his house. What did the men do? As a group, many went to his house.

He wouldn’t come out. They wouldn’t leave. They stayed the night. Time went, the man called the cops. The police moved by their compassion, let them stay.

You know what happened. Break through. Healing.

If they would have left at first point of shut down, would break through occur. Or if the cops booted them. I highly doubt it.
 
Don’t accept the life is hard response. The ‘I’m dealing with something on my own’ take can be fatal.

Quickly exiting relationships will lead to loss. Im staying. I’m going nowhere will lead to some of life’s greatest victories.

Connecting Men to Men and Men to God