Here or at Don’s place


Blogging brought me a bunch of wonderful people. Blogging also extended my comfort zones hugely! Blogging has changed me. Because God makes no distinction, that I can see, where we gather in His name.

Church is still often “the building”, and “the services”, and “the congregation”, and the turning up and signing-in. Nothing wrong with that – unless it is the whole – not just part of this “relationship thing” – like in the “who is your relationship with?” thing.

Who is your relationship with? The familiar crowd on a Sunday you see through the week (or don’t)? The minister, pastor, cleric or collar? The routine, the habit, the locality? Where does “God and you” transport to other relationships, other communities, other formats and settings?

Blogging, for me, became community became skype fellowship. First one other blogger, then another, then a local minister, then some more bloggers. The odd thing I have found in all cases is this:

When I have known someone first through their blog (and they mine) – I know I can trust them – I know I feel safe with them. I know we have something really important in common – something that will transcend appearance, tone of voice, accent, way of speaking – all that “stuff”. I also know that “position and influence” – the usual “what do you do?” pecking order – will not even make one jot of difference. We have connected too deeply for that to even matter.

Skype fellowship.

The reason I mention this is Don Merritt. He is one of this skype fellowship group. And Don is inviting more skype fellowship in his last post: “The Image of God – a few final comments”

I checked the comments below Don’s post: one comment of interest so far.

So I think you need to know something about Don and skyping – something he hasn’t mentioned …

Don was a not a fan of skype. It was a big step outside Don’s comfort zones when some of us suggested we get together. Don had no equipment to skype. Had no desire to skype. Saw no reason to skype. And when he started it was a stumbling experience. Worried about lighting, about sound, about this and that. And now …

Don is an advocate!

Fellowship by skype brings together those who love the Lord, who wish to talk about their relationship with their Lord, who love to share others relationship – who love to learn as much as they teach. And who already feel safe with the faces on the screen.

What does it cost?  If you already have a desktop computer or laptop – then not much. Just a small sum for a cheap webcam and microphone/speakers (or a headset combo) – if you don’t already have them.

We have found that group skype calls still need a desktop computer or laptop – rather than a smartphone or tablet (they work for one-to-one calls).

What do you get?  A lot of love with others from across the world. In a group where denomination doesn’t even register. Where personal preferences only get in the way if you let them (and that is true wherever and however you share with others). But where the “payback” is truly massive!  Where the focus is on God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit and relationship – real relationship – safe relationship.

Being a disciple – a true disciple – needs community and fellowship. Because being a disciple is not just about being a better person – not just about walking closer with Jesus/God. Being a disciple is about allowing others to learn from you as you learn from them. And – for me – that is the fun of being a disciple!

Using skype to “go deeper” is the safest way I have found of “going deeper”.

If I am going to sneeze? Mute the microphone. Having a bad hair day? “Mute” the camera. Want to listen? Sit still and make no visible sign of wanting to speak. Want to speak? Raise a finger/hand and others will pause what they were saying. Travel time? Nil. Travel cost? Nil. Comfort break? Indicate you are off, mute the microphone and “leave the screen”.

Don never used to be an expert or even a fan of skype.

Yet here he is – inviting fellowship groups, accountability groups, discipling groups … and I love him so much! Because you are reading the invitation of someone just like you – someone who saw no point, who was a bit nervous, who thought it costs loads – who thought it is too intrusive.

One final thought – do you remember that one day when you took a leap of faith and embraced our Lord and Father?  This is far less “big” – honest!

And I am not letting Don have all this fun by himself – I am going to be involved as well! So why not get in touch?

Add some thoughts here (in the comments below) or do the same across at Don’s place.

Thank you  ((hugs))

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40 thoughts on “Here or at Don’s place

  1. I’ve been actively involved in a Skype small group under the auspices of Saddleback church for the last four years. We are diverse geographically, theologically, educationally, and sexually. We get together for an hour on Tuesday afternoon (Wednesday morning) depending in which time zone you live in. There have been as many as 10 and as few as 6.

    We use resources from Saddleback’s small group ministry or material that I have collected over my years in ministry.

    I highly recommend getting involved yourselves.

    • Hi Rb – Thank you. Our group is both USA and UK. I have had a look at the Saddleback website and am not seeing any easily accessible link. Would you be so kind as to point me in the right direction, please? Thank you 🙂

  2. Are you two really dong this? Coz I wanted to be involved in something like it for as long as I’ve believed. I used to do my radio meetings over Skype, as secretary for the radio station. It worked, and saved me having to battle travelling as a disabled person. If someone is housebound, you and Don are providing a holy service to us who find it tough going out. I’m moving house because I’m scared of being housebound where I am! To have church online is exquisite. A beautiful thing.

    Can I come? xxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Really and truly! And you comment has made my (and Don’s day) – thank you! You have added so much to the initial thinking here – and made us both go “wow!” Jennifer – Thank you!!
      I have your email address (in the WP Admin – comments section), so we will have a chat and get and email out to you asap!
      ((hugs))

        • Jen – I am off to a cold dark carpark driving a bus (the interior is a mobile youth club) – but with a very warm heart thanks to you! I will be in touch very soon.

          • I’ve already checked me email. That’s faith for ya, hahahahaaha! Really excited, Paul. Both you and Don are welcome to contact me. God bless you, and may He bring us all together for worship and wisdom. Can’t WAIT! xxxxxxxx

  3. I am sitting here in my pjs and robe, my hair not public presentable, no make-up….having my morning cuppa, thinking, “to Skype or not to Skype, that is the question…” 😉 I am glad we can be a part of your “Skype Church” and still not be seen if it is a bad hair day. I am just wondering how it works over land and sea with the different time zones.

    This is such a wonderful idea that I will give some serious thought to becoming involved. I love the community of bloggers here. I, too, have very loyal and compassionate friends/bloggers..sisters and brothers in Christ, who have been loving encouragers as I share the grief of losing a child to suicide. I do not believe this has been by accident. I think God is behind each one who is loving me through. Thank you so much, Paul.

    • Dale – I was once called “towel man” because I came to one Skype fellowship with a migraine in my head – and a wet cooling towel over my head! It caused some amusement – and was a US joke which passed me by! 🙂

      We have Don who is USA based, and me in the UK. And as Don is very flexible – it means we can offer (USA time) mornings, afternoons or evenings (my UK would be weekends and evenings mainly – I work full time during the week).

      At the moment we have a weekly skype session – and sometimes the atmospherics interfere with reception. But usually it is okay – or affects one person rather than the whole group. imagine an informal kitchen table setting!

      I have your email address (in the WP Admin – comments section), so will have a chat and get an email out to you – and then you can see if you think this could be fun!
      ((hugs))

  4. Reblogged this on The Life Project and commented:

    In his great post of earlier today, paulfg (Just Me Being Curious) commented on something I posted recently here on The Life Project, an idea that I’ve been kicking around to increase the level of community among Christian bloggers. In the original post, I mentioned that putting together a group of bloggers via Skype as a fellowship or accountability group or a small group study… or all of the above. Before I ended the post, I threw out an idea that came to me as I wrote: Anybody interests in a small study of MarK? And Susan Irene Fox spoke up with a “Yes” reply. In Paul’s post today, two others quickly said yes to being in a group conversation, and after seeing that, I thought it was time to send out a little invitation:
    Hey everyone, do any of you skype?
    Would any of you be interested in becoming part of a small group on skype, periodically for fellowship, conversation, Bible study, or…? (Suggestions very welcome).
    Please consider yourself invited!
    Let me know, either by leaving a comment or by email at: lifereference@gmail.com and please let me know your time zone.
    By the way, if you have never used skype before, it is free, it is easy and all you need is a computer, internet connection, and an inexpensive web cam and microphone (mine together cost about $25 total.) I really hope to hear from you!
    Here’s Paul’s post, in which he (an experienced skype user, tells about how much of a newbie I was the first few times he and I visited on skype; if I can do it, so can you!

    • Susan – so wonderful how the simplest of thoughts often taps into such a wealth of opportunity. Not yet re-blogged on CSF – I have some emails to write – please feel free dirt sister ((hugs))

    • Heather – thank you for that robust enthusiasm! Cruising through your blog (thank you) I am left with a sense of wonder. That there are so many here (in this blogging community) who gently share their hearts and souls on a screen. Who have experienced and lived through so much. Yet whose foundations stones, whose “grounding”, remain a close relationship with a living loving Father. There is such a wealth – and “abundance” of empathy and understanding to be found in this community – and now has my thoughts seeing all kinds of possibilities!
      Are you in? 🙂

  5. Reblogged this on The love of God and commented:

    If there’s one thing I’ve ached for in my Christian walk – it’s fellowship. If anyone reading this finds it tough getting out of the house due to some disability and you need Christian support, please read this blog page, and get in touch with Paul and Don. If you’ve been praying for fellowship, our Heavenly Father has heard you, as He has, me…

  6. Pingback: The wind blows where it will…and so it is with the Spirit | The love of God

  7. Pingback: Skyping Fellowship – An Invitation | Church Set Free

  8. Pingback: Susan Irene Fox

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