Freedom Valley has always been a church that welcomes the unchurched, the people who don’t feel worthy of a staunch, religious church environment. Very down to earth, friendly, welcoming.
Where we’re currently tracking though, becoming disciplemakers, it’s about MORE than just welcoming. For the past few years, we’ve been training our greeters team to be helpful, not just friendly. That there’s a big difference between helpful and JUST friendly. Friendly is smiling. It’s “hi, how are you?”, but not necessarily, “how can I help you?”. There’s depth to HELPFUL that’s not there with friendly.
We want to be HELPFUL to the people walking through our doors, not just welcoming. We want people to BE accepted in our churches, not just FEEL accepted. We want them KNOWING God...not just knowing about Him.
There’s a difference!
And so, I’ve been challenging our church, since the end of last year, we need to go deeper. We need to BE deeper.
In John 21, Jesus appears to some of the disciples after his resurrection, and has a very interesting interaction with Peter. First, he blesses them with abundance of fish...something that they NEEDED. Not only for breakfast, but to support themselves. He was blessing their efforts in the “secular world”, which I think is interesting. But then he sits down and has breakfast prepared for them. He feeds them physically..THEN sets about ministering to them spiritually. Also interesting.
But then he says to Peter. THREE times, do you love me? Read verses 15 - 17.
Jesus makes DIRECT comparison between loving Jesus, and feeding the sheep. Not once, but 3 times. To the point of hurting Peter’s feelings, challenging him with it.
There’s SO MUCH TO LEARN from this passage...so much that we could focus on. Like the fact that Jesus asked Peter by using his OLD name..the one that didn’t mean ROCK or strength or stability.
Or the fact that Jesus asked him THREE times. The same amount of times that Peter denied Jesus.
Or the fact that Jesus that didn’t directly even mention Peter’s indiscretion...did chastise him for his fear...his betrayal...just wanted to hear him say OUTLOUD that he loved him. And make a point.
And I think the point Jesus makes is significant. One that he makes over and over to the disciples when it’s “their time”
What was Jesus’ directive to his disciples after the resurrection?
Do you see that as a directive in your life as well? How can you live that out?
What do you think the Parable of the Great Feast (vs.15-24) is trying to explain?
What’s your one takeaway from this chapter for your own life?
How do you think this passage relates to being a disciplemaker?