We started our new Life Groups in the Chaplaincy this week… they were fantastic. Over 50 people… students from the centre, students from the campus, other members of the church, gathering to discuss real life and real faith! We are making use of the Life on the Frontline material produced by the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, as part of their Imagine resources. You can check it out here!
The basic issue that we considered this week, is that everyone has a “frontline” – a place or places were we interact with others… and in those places we can be used by God. The challenge is that many Christians don’t think a lot about their ‘frontlines’ beyond the church…. there appears to be a disconnect between our discipleship and our everyday lives. It’s like discipleship and service belong only in the church and it’s associated activities.
This is something I saw over and over again in over 10 years working as a local church leader. There was often a great deal more emphasis on church activity than on supporting each other in the places were it might be fair to say our faith counts more… the office, the classroom, the shop, the street, the home etc….
One of the members of my Life group this week said… “People in church seem to think that if you don’t turn up for a couple of weeks, or if you don’t volunteer to take part in church activities, then you are either not committed or you have fallen away!” I can think of members of the churches I was a part of who were committed followers of Jesus, trying to live out their faith, and yet, because they had to travel a lot with work and didn’t make it every Sunday… they were thought to be “not as committed”!
The Imagine resources point us to the truth that Jesus is Lord of all… not just church activity, and the supporting people on their frontlines, discipleship, is the primary vocation of the church! The church is only going to grow again, when we take seriously the challenge of living out our faith at our frontline… and seeing that God can and does want to use us in those contexts.
It was amazing to sit and listen to people share about their frontlines this week and humbling that we could support each other and pray for each other … that we would continue to live out our faith.
Can’t wait to meet again in two weeks… to hear stories of what God has done!