Having no original thoughts of my own lately, I once again want to direct you to Catalyst Faith for their discussion on true community. There is some great stuff on The Sacrament of Community Pt. II and the latest, Pt. III. Maybe you guys already know this stuff or have years of insight but man, this is coming to me as completely new. I keep reading thinking, how in the world did I miss this?
One of the things Tom brings up in Pt. III is “In his book, Velvet Elvis, author Rob Bell makes an interesting observation that we modern Christians can forget. He reminds us that the whole concept of You, your Bible, and God (the Quiet Time?) is only a couple of hundred years old, at the most. …For most of Christian history, the reading of Scripture was a group activity where the Word was spoken, repeated, debated, and learned in community. …in Greek, the use of you, as it used throughout most of the New Testament, is primarily in the plural. Or, y’all for those of you below the Mason-Dixon.”
Wow. This is total vindication for anyone who beats themself up for not being able to “grow” through their quiet times. I’m so used to hearing about discipleship training and books and jargon. Someone decides to follow Jesus and accept salvation and we hand them a book on how to be a good Christian–read your bible, memorize scripture, give the right amount of money, pray, etc. While Catalyst is not saying spending time in solitude with God(or other disciplines) is not important, are spiritual disciplines the equivalent to “graduate studies for the child of God”. What is important to teach a new believer? Can we throw away the topical small group books and read the bible together–debate and question and wonder? And I’m asking for real, not to be sarcastic(shocking!). Would you please tell me what you think?