I love dogs and this is Harley, my golden doodle. She looks out for everyone in the house. She is flat out AWESOME! If there is a fight amongst our other dogs, she breaks it up. If there is a fight among people, she gets between you. If you come to my door uninvited, well, let’s just say she will let you know she is there. She is the enforcer, but with a loyal, justice driven motive. There is something about the qualities she exhibits that reminds me of what we should be for each other as the church. Who is looking out for you? Who are you looking out for?
“I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.” Romans 15:1
SO…Who are you looking out for? Is there another person you feel personally responsible for? Everyone needs someone to look out for and for someone to look out for them. This is the definition of what the church should be doing for one another. This scripture implies also we should believe the best about the motives of one another and be careful not to assume the worst. We are responsible for one another. As a matter of fact, there are over fifty “one another’s” in scripture.
How To be a “Watch-dog” and Look Out For One Another…
1. Privately Correct – We are all going to blow it, mess up, make mistakes – say something we shouldn’t say, post a photo we shouldn’t post, act in public in a way that isn’t God honoring. FOR EXAMPLE – I saw something on Facebook the other day that disturbed me. It was a public rebuke of what some would consider an “inappropriate photo” But here was the problem…It was rebuked in a public way by someone, without gentleness and in an embarrassing manner. More and more I am of the opinion that public social media rebukes are pointless. The person almost NEVER hears what you are really saying and written harsh communication on a social media channel will almost ALWAYS be misconstrued in some way. If something someone posts troubles you and you aren’t willing to privately go to them, don’t say anything. After all, when you love someone enough to say something privately, you are respecting the image of God in them. Disagree? private message me, but this verse implies you are just flat out WRONG!
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” Galatians 6:1
2. Adamantly Protect – I love it when I know people have my back. I love it when people who are a part of our church and our small group communities stand up against gossip amongst each other. I love having someone to protect and having someone protect me. This is what we are called to do for one another. If you always have to have your way, you are prideful. If you are always complaining about a church, another church, or your small group, something is desperately wrong. The person you just criticized was made in the image of God and is a son or daughter of God. I love watching the church care and stand up for one another. And one more thing – Please, if you claim to be a Christian – please work out your issues with other Christians in a private matter. You are destroying the testimony of the church by airing all your complaints.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
3. Carefully Instruct – Life isn’t easy and we all will get led astray, but we must be allowed to speak into each other’s lives with conviction and passion. If no one can speak into your life, you have a serious problem. Quick, name the person who has that authority in your life? You need someone who is helping you in your marriage, finances, parenting, personal knowledge of the bible, you need a go to person who is doing the good work of discipleship in your life.
“…filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.” Romans 15:1
4. Relentlessly Care – If someone is fighting sickness, battling addiction, struggling in their marriage, facing a loss of a job, desperately alone, hopelessly abandoned, OUR ROLE IS TO WATCH OUT FOR THEM. Fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. Don’t just talk a big game, get in the game and let your life be about caring for the church and those who are your brothers and sisters. Loyalty matters, take a cue from my Harley. Be a #Watchdog
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
This past Sunday we had 24 new people said they wanted to commit to the vision of 217church. They have made a covenant to protect the unity of the church. I love it. Jesus died for us so let’s come together and stand together for what he wants to accomplish through us and for what he has promised to us.
Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ. 217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania that meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ. If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Burlington County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us. Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here