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.
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))