Religion roundtable: Am I wrong because I like helping at church but not participating in groups?
Sep 08, 2012 | 1993 views |  0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Start out small

One of the things we all need to remember is that we are first and foremost individuals. But we are also individuals who are made in God’s image, and who are made to be in relationship with others.

We all need time to be alone and time to be with others.

Extroverts find it harder to be alone and quiet, while introverts find it harder to be in group settings. But in order to fully be who God has made us to be, we each need both.

In our spiritual lives, we need both private prayer and communal prayer. It is inaccurate to characterize one as better than the other, because we need both.

Communal worship is an opportunity to give God thanks as a larger group, while private prayer is a chance to spend time with God individually.

But there is an intermediate level that can be incredible helpful in our spiritual growth. In smaller groups, we begin to grow in our journey toward God by interacting with others in a more personal way.

When we pray and share with others, we begin to see ourselves more clearly. This helps us grow by both challenging and encouraging us.

Being in groups with others doesn’t necessarily mean we have to talk more than is comfortable for us, but small groups can help us to grow in our relationship with God.

Bryan Lowe, Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, Anniston

Everything must work together

Is the Bible your basis for what you believe? If you say no, then you can do whatever you please. If it is, then you must obey its teachings.

Yes, you and anyone else who holds to the philosophy of just helping but not participating in groups is totally out of line.

Paul likens the local church body to the human body (1 Cor.12:12-26). The natural things show us what the spiritual (unseen) things are like. This is a rich metaphor that is used to help Christians, people formerly lost, better understand “the body of Christ.”

Every part of the body works in such a way that the body itself makes increase (Eph.4:16).

How can your legs help the rest of your body without participating? Every part of the human body falls into a certain group, or systems. All of these systems work together to perform certain functions, and all are “interdependent,” or dependent on one another.

What if your stomach decides to separate itself from your digestive system? Do the math.

Many Christians simply do not discern the Lord’s body, many are weak and sick, and many are asleep (1 Cor. 11:28-30).

Bob McClain
Living By Faith Ministry, Oxford
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