Deeper:Foundations - Living the Gospel at Church (Part 1)

Just for fun… There were four country churches in a small Minnesota town: The Lutheran Church, the Baptist Church, the Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.  Each church was overrun with pesky squirrels.

One day, the Baptist Church called a meeting to decide what to do about the squirrels. After much prayer and consideration they determined that the squirrels were predestined to be there and they shouldn't interfere with God's divine will.  

In the Methodist Church the squirrels had taken up habitation in the baptistery bowl.  The deacons met and decided to put a cover on the baptistery bowl and drown the squirrels in it. The squirrels escaped somehow and there were twice as many there the next week.  

The Catholic group got together and decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God's creation. So, they humanely trapped the squirrels and set them free a few miles outside of town.  Three days later, the squirrels were back.

But the Lutheran Church came up with the best and most effective solution.  They baptized and confirmed the squirrels and registered them as members of the church. Now they only see them on Christmas and Easter!

Several years ago now Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye) came out with a book entitled, Stop Dating the Church.  His observation is that we live in a consumer culture which is independent and critical of the church.  We will attend a local church and we might even join one, but we are reluctant to commit to love the church.  We are content to date the church and participate in her life when it is convenient. What kind of squirrels might we be?

This week we will continue to think about what it means to live the Gospel and we will consider what the Lord says about living the Gospel in the context of the church.

Pray:  Before you begin your meditation this week, take a few minutes and read Jesus’ prayer in John 17.  What does He pray for when He prays for us? Let that shape your prayer as you look into His Word.

Meditate:  Use the questions given below to help you think through what it looks like to live out the Gospel in the context of the local church, particularly TBCBC.