Daniel Cui and Why the Church Exists

A reminder for the church:

Three things happened in this video:

  1. One person noticed someone struggling and decided to do something.
  2. They asked people that they knew to help.
  3. Their community saw something good and joined in.

I’ve seen this happen time and time again in the churches I’ve served. The struggles are different, but the care and support has been the same. It may be divorce, death of a loved one, addiction, sickness, or job loss, but each time there’s been one person who has taken the first step to notice someone struggling and decided that they needed to be the one who would do something to help.  Unfortunately, I’ve also seen times in the church where someone’s struggles go unnoticed, or if they are noticed no one is quite sure what to do, so they don’t do anything.

As I’m beginning as Co-Pastor of my new church, I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about why the church exists. I’m currently resonating with three purposes articulated well by Bill Easum.

  • Show and share with others the way of life that Jesus modeled (Matthew 28:16-20)
  • Equip congregation members to be developed in their faith and active in service to the church and the world (Ephesians 4:12)
  • Support and care for one another in a Christ-like way (John 21:15-17)

The last purpose is what the video above illustrates. The church should be a community where members take direct responsibility for the well-being and care of other members. Easum uses Jesus’ directive to Peter in John 21 as a model. In response to Peter’s declaration of love for Jesus, Jesus tells him three times to, “Feed my sheep.” Easum points out that it wasn’t the shepherd’s job to directly feed the sheep in 1st century Israel, instead the shepherd guided them in such a way that the flock could feed and take care of themselves.

If any church is to live into our call to care and support one another, it’s going to take the whole flock. Each member needs to be responsible for noticing the struggles of others and doing something about it. The Pastor cannot be the only person, or even the primary person, who can offer care and support to members in need. Members need to be making hospital visits, bringing communion to those who are homebound, asking others to become involved in caring, and making contact (in and outside of church) with visitors.

If you are part of a church I encourage you to be responsible for the care of those you around you, and create (or continue) a community like the one that Daniel Cui had.

 

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