Why is Fellowship Important?

Anonymous asked:

Why is it so important to go to a church and have a fellowship?

I answered:

The short answer is: you cannot maintain a walk with Jesus on your own. You need people to encourage you, to listen to you vent, and to call you on your BS, among many other things. Jesus surrounded himself with people. One of the first things He did when He started his ministry was go out and call his twelve friends to travel with Him. This model carried on throughout the New Testament. Jesus sent out the disciples in pairs. Paul went on his missionary travels with people like Timothy and Silas, and his letters mention dozens more people who helped him in some way.

You have things to learn, you need the Church. You have things to teach, the Church needs you. 1 Corinthians Chapter 12 talks about how we all, with our unique gifts and struggles and experiences, have a role to play in the body of Christ. You need people to build you up, but you also need to have the experience of being there for people. That is what a church is supposed to be. A place to be fed and a place to find ways to serve people. 

The problem with the whole church/fellowship/other people thing is that relationships are by definition messy. They are that way because people are messy. That is another massive reason we need fellowship, to know that we are not alone in our mess. 

If you want a strong relationship with Jesus, you need to learn from other healthy relationships in your life. You can’t understand what it is for Jesus to forgive you unless you have forgiven someone. You can’t understand how monumental it is for Jesus to keep pursuing after you break his heart, until you have had someone break your heart. The vast landscape of emotional lessons that we apply to our walk with Jesus is picked up through relationships with people. God is inherently relational, and so relationships are important in the world He created and the lives He is involved in.


-Matt from The Bridge

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People get caught up in “can I keep this standard? Can I keep this standard of purity?” A walk with Jesus is not about saying “I will set this standard of behavior and then adhere to it”. That is not a what a relationship with Jesus is.

-Lee Younger on episode 9 of the Say That podcast

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What is Worship?

Anonymous asked:

What exactly is worship? When I think worship, I think really lame “Christian” bands singing “happy rainbow pop music” at church, but that’s not worship. I don’t think so. What exactly does it mean to take time out of your day to worship the Living God? And how is it different from praying and praising? Thank you…

I answered:

Wayne Grudem wrote a big, good book called Systematic Theology and I like his definition of “the activity of glorifying God. Namely, it is any action with a genuine and conscious adoration of God in our hearts.” The part of that definition that specifically applies to your question is “any action”. Worship can certainly be singing and clapping (but “worship” is not a genre of music) but it can be anything where you are conscious of trying to glorify God. Serving, having conversations, painting, writing, any of these can be acts of worship. 

A lot of worship, particularly singing as worship, is cultural. A white American church is very different from an African American church in the same town, which are both very different from church services in other countries. If you don’t dig the music at your church, that is kind of a bummer, but hopefully there are good things about your church that balance that out. There is plenty of music out there that is made by people who love the Lord, which is not lame and not “happy rainbow” which you could load up your iTunes with and have your worship in the car or in your headphones. Bridge worship leader Jed Brewer and our friend Lee Younger are great places to start for authentic music, and I have plenty of suggestions as well. Taking time out of your day to worship God can mean whatever works for you. Worship should fuel your relationship with the Lord and it is really important.

Prayer is bringing your requests, fears, questions, and other stuff to God. The goal of prayer is to communicate these things to God and listen to response. One of the key differences is prayer tends to be more still, more about waiting whereas worship is more active. Praise is a very specific aspect of worship. Praise is about how great God is and how much He has done for us. Praise is vocal, and as we established worship does not have to be. Worship can also involve lament, which happens in the Psalms (the worship song book of the Hebrews) quite often. 

It is important to have a well rounded relationship with God and to be able to express ourselves to Him. Finding time daily to worship God is key to keeping our relationship to Him strong, but it comes in a massive number of different permutations. As with many things in your walk, the key is to find something that works for you and to not judge what works for other folks.


-Matt from The Bridge

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Episode 9 is up now! 

We answer questions on purity rings, being let down by Church leadership, and keeping a balanced life.

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Difference Between Witnessing and Evangelizing?

thebiblicalbibliophile asked:

Hey there. We Christians are all “witnesses” but not all are “evangelists”,is that true? If so, what differentiates the former from the latter?

I answered:

This is one of those situations where churchy language gets a little muddled depending on background, denomination, etc, but the question is very interesting. Witnessing is simply telling someone about the Lord, who He is and what He has done in your life. You are certainly right that we are all called to do that in some way. Some groups (I’m looking at you baptists…) get a little carried away with it to almost a place of keeping score. This both makes a weird competition out of Christian life, and also makes shy people feel like they are bad people, which are both wrong all over.

Evangelist comes from a greek word that essentially means “bringer of good news”. There are people in the New Testament, like Timothy, who are referred to as “evangelist” as a title; but there is no special qualification for it. Bringing the good news into someone’s life is something that anyone who is in a relationship with the Lord can do. In the America, the word “evangelist” has gotten associated with revival tent preachers, and more recently television preachers. That is probably why you don’t hear it a lot in many Christian circles. To some people the term evokes a very particular, um let’s say- tooth-whitened, brand of preaching.

There does seem to be an idea underlying your question. There are not levels of Christianity. The difference between the people in the pews on Sunday morning and the person preaching is just a matter of where the Lord as called them. You don’t need a seminary degree to do great work spreading the gospel. Some people are called to volunteer with the homeless, or watch kids during the church service, or hangout with middle school kids who are having a rough time. That is all bringing the good news and, because of the power of Christ within us, every Christian is qualified to do it.


-Matt from The Bridge

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The devil is trying to tell you how you will feel in the future about something you haven’t experienced yet, but light drives out the shadows When you are lying there having made love to your wife, there will be a floodlight flipped on in your heart.

Jed Brewer on episode 8 of the Say That podcast

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Comparing Yourself to Others

Anonymous asked:

The “why” questions one asks in Christ- Recently, I’ve been growing a lot in Christ. I have the privilege to serve in music ministry at church which has always been my dream. The reason I ever began playing guitar was because I wanted to serve God through ministry. Recently I tried to contact someone who really inspired me to seek God. I emailed him to thank him but he never responded. And to be honest, that hurt. I see God restoring relationships around me and I keep thinking why not me?

I answered:

I’m sorry that your friend didn’t get back to you. That sucks, but let’s remember that people get busy, and forget to return calls. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt, but you have to have some grace with folks. Otherwise, you live and die with every interaction which will start to take a toll on you quickly. 

Another important thing to remember is that comparison is the enemy of joy. I’m willing to bet that God is not restoring every relationship in these people’s lives, and if you think about it rationally, of course you know that too. We all get caught up in an emotional mindset and start noticing things that fit into that narrative. Self pity has a way of making it so we that we bend everything we see to drive us further into that way of thinking. You have to pull back and look at things separate from that emotion that is driving the bus. I know that is hard, so it is a great strategy to ask someone if there is something you are missing.

The hard truth is not that not every relationship is going to be lifelong. Some are meant to get us from point A to point B, and it sounds like your friend certainly did that for you. Instead of letting that lack of relationship embitter you, it would be better for you thank God for this person who inspired you to seek the Lord and become the ministry rock machine you are today. I know it is hard when God doesn’t give us that picture we have in our minds, but if you dwell on the way you wish things were, you are going to miss out on what God is doing right now.


-Matt from The Bridge

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