Beyond Rows into Circles | Part 1
Going to church was not optional for me as a child. Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, week-long revival services; we went to all of them. I don’t know if there is a world record for the number of attended church services, but I’m safely in the top 10.
But thankfully, my parents also knew there was something very important that happened beyond rows. It started early. I’m sure I won the attendance award for the nursery. And I never missed Sunday school, Training Union and RA’s (sorry for my Southern Baptist lingo), weekend church cookouts, youth choir practice, or camping trips. Our family never settled for rows.
Instead, my parents put me in circles. They took full responsibility for me becoming a follower of Jesus, but they also knew they could not do it alone. From infancy to high school graduation, my parents put me in a circle of people who also took responsibility for my life. They partnered with my parents to challenge me to live for Christ and embrace the gospel. Why was this important? The circle of people in my life planted a gospel anchor so deep in my heart of hearts that I could only drift so far.
Circles shaped my life when I moved to Murray State. After Chelsea and I married, we continued to move beyond rows into circles. Sunday school, small groups, serving with others, and close Christian friendship have been a priority in our lives. We’ve always needed a community of people in our lives that are “one another-ing” one another.
What does that look like now? Each Thursday we share life with a small group of married couples. We love one another. We care for one another. We encourage, teach, study the Bible, pray with, and simply enjoy life with one another. Yep, you may even find us at the movies, Los Portales, Dairy Queen, or the golf course together.
So, what difference does it make? We’ll talk about that next time. Until then, are you in a circle? If your answer is no, it is time to move beyond rows into circles.