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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Working on our stuff

Pastor Dallas Burgeson

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant St, Cedar Springs

Since the middle of September a group of seven or eight of us at The Springs Church have been trying out an idea I’ve had for several years but never pulled the trigger on. We’re doing this specific experiment called “How-To,” as part of a Follow Group, which is what we call our small groups at the church. 

Follow Groups can focus on any number of things, but are designed to make space for those in the group to put into practice some aspect of their faith. The point of these groups is to come back each week talking about how it went when each person tried doing something we talked about the week before. Sometimes actually trying things goes well, sometimes it doesn’t, but either way we talk about it and encourage one another in our efforts.

So here’s how our “How-To” group works. Each week, somebody shows the rest of the group how to do something that that person already knows how to do. It could be almost anything. One week, a couple showed us how they prepare meals with oils and vinaigrettes, which is good to learn as a new skill for the foodies among us. But it’s also an alternative for those who have a tough time finding foods that fit their dietary restrictions. Or as a way of making food that inspires enough confidence to finally have someone over for supper and offer Christian hospitality to them.

Another week, one of our guys showed everybody some basics of car maintenance and repair–how to access the jack and spare tire on several vehicles, and then how to fix a flat or blow-out. There were other fixes demonstrated, too, but the goal was that a few more people would learn how to help someone who gets stranded on the road. Because once you know how, then you canhelp.

But here’s another reason we’re doing this: God placed Adam and Eve in a very real garden, and He asked them to tend it and have dominion over it all. He called the Israelites to take responsibility for a clearly marked out land where His Kingdom could be rooted in the particulars of this world. At their best, God’s People shape and interact with their stuff.

There is value in learning manual skills that take a job from start to finish. They help us develop endurance in other areas of life, including faith. Hebrews 6:10-12 tells us, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” 

God has made us capable of working on our stuff. So give it a shot!

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