Simple Accountability

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I stepped out of my comfort zone Sunday morning. Normally, I teach adults during the Sunday School hour at church. But yesterday, I went and joined a 9th-12th grade boys class.

My friend Jon, who I used to co-teach with, leads this group of guys. He opened with the question:

“What did you read in your Bibles this week?”

The room was silent, awkwardly silent. Jon asked again, his question hanging in the air:

“What did you read in your Bibles this week?”

The silence broke as one of the guys talked about what he was reading in the Book of Revelation; another talked about reading in the Gospel of Mark.

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

We discussed other things, but our opening question stuck with me. Got me thinking about what would happen if I asked this question in an adult Sunday School group. What would the answers be like? Do we expect to be asked such a question by a fellow believer?

I think that often we can put up a good front. We can demonstrate that we know a lot about Jesus and the Bible. The difference between knowing and growing; the difference between reading your Bible and praying on a daily basis is huge.

I want to grow closer to Jesus. I want to be able to give an answer about what I’ve read on a given day… about what He is doing in my life. Accountability starts with a simple question: Are we willing to ask?

A Fresh Perspective

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A few weeks ago, Tabitha, Wyatt, and I had the chance to go and visit another local church. One of my brother-in-laws was speaking and there was no way we were going to miss that!

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Stepping out of our own church context was refreshing! I loved how the church we visited gave time, during the service, to missionaries they support. We watched a video in which the missionaries gave an update on what has been going on with them. Their video reminded me that missionaries no longer have to feel so alone due to technology. That we can hear from them, stepping out of our local context, and get a picture of what is going on with the global church. I love this! Too often, I think, churches become too inner focused:

“What programs can we provide to bring people here.”

“If we build this THING, people will come to us.”

“If we have this meal, we can invite _________.”

Too often, we pull back into our comfort zones instead of pushing out and embracing others where they are; embracing those in our communities (outside our churches) and even those around the world through missionaries. I am thankful for the glimpse God gave me, in that “missions moment”, of the church abroad. Thankful for those Christians who act as the hands and feet of Christ where I cannot… but can through them.

I also loved the time of worship. I realize this is a personal preference, but I loved hearing hymns sung. I loved being able to sing without paying attention to octave changes and just pay attention to the lyrics. Reminded me that my background, growing up, was void of hymns. How I discovered the richness of them once I was in college. I want my son to love the hymns too (something I’m going to work on).

Tabitha and I have been talking for awhile now about taking a Sunday morning, when we are not serving, and visiting family at their respective churches. Stepping out of our familiar gave me a fresh perspective on the church as a whole, and my church as well. I can’t wait to do it again!

And yeah, my brother-in-law did a great job speaking too.

If you know of any resources on teaching hymns/hymn history to kids OR have any thoughts you’d like to share, drop them in the comments below.