The church as God’s family

“The Scriptures command us as God’s family to encourage and build up one another, instruct one another, teach and admonish one another, prompt one another toward love and good deeds, serving one another in love. We teach people how to relate to each other in these ways, telling stories of the powerful abilities they have to develop one another. When small group communities learn to be the voice of God, looking for the potential God sees in each person, encouraging the development of each other, amazing things happen. People realise…

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Great advice on small groups

This is great advice from John Burke in No Perfect People Allowed: Creating a Come-as-You-Are Culture in the Church: “What I’ve found in the past twenty years of leading small groups is this: if you help people feel at ease and enjoy being together, opening up to each other early on, you’ll have years of time to truly go deep in study and prayer. If your group fails to achieve that homestyle, laughing-around-the-dinner-table feel, your group will never become the healing, life-giving family environment God intended. Groups who do life…

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Clement of Alexandria on money

In Henry Chadwick’s history The Early Church and there are some absolute gems which you’d do well to read for your reflection, edification and application. Clement of Alexandria wrote a ‘special discourse on to help Christians puzzled about the right use of their money and troubled by the absolute command of the Lord to the rich young ruler, ‘if you would be perfect, sell all you have…’. Here’s what Chadwick says about this, On a rapid reading it might seem as if Clement were merely a compromiser trying to wriggle out of…

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The early church: unbelievably generous

In Henry Chadwick’s history The Early Church there are some absolute gems which I’ll post for your reflection, edification and application. Chadwick writes that in the 2nd century AD a ‘vivid and cruel portrait [of the church] was painted by the pagan satirist Lucian of Samosata (c.170)’ and then he says this, Lucian had a low opinion of the human race, and treated Christianity as merely additional evidence of human absurdity and folly. But he knew that the Christians were unbelievably generous with their money and preferred to be open-handed rather than…

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