Teeming With Teeming Life

It was one of those glorious mornings.  I hated to tell Sherry about it.  I knew she would be envious.  Set before me was a school of tiny, silver fish.  They were rippling the tops of waves.  Lines of dolphin seemed to be flirting with or taunting the shoreline.  I like to think they were just catching a glimpse of the weird guy in the chair.  Another school of fish pushed it’s 4-5 obvious leaders up and out of the water.   With blazing speed and grace, these gill-limited water vertebrates would skip three to four times across morning shimmers before submerging.  It was mesmerizing.  And then the birds came.  Lots of them.  Small birds, squawking birds, pelicans, and dive bombing birds. I wondered if the dive bombers ever collided with the zippy skippers.  Now THAT would be cool.

anna maria morningThe waters and surrounding environment seemed to be teeming with life.  It reminded me of day five in the Genesis creation account.  God spoke and the waters were teeming with teeming life.  Moses was describing an overabundance of life.  God is the author of such life.  Big life.  Lots of life.

I’m finishing up Brad House’s book, “Community: Taking Your Small Group Off Life Support.”  House writes with mesmerizing accuracy.  “Community groups are often seen as obligatory and life taking.  We secretly hope the kids will be sick so we can stay home.  We know if we go, then Sally is going to dominate the conversation with the same issues we’ve heard for the past three weeks, and insensitive Rob is going to miss the point and start lobbing verses at her.  As this drags on, Jim is going to try to prove he is the smartest guy in the room by parsing a Greek verb and quoting dead Puritans.  Then, just when time is running out, we will go through the prayer requests for each other’s aunts’ cats that are suffering from angina.   My only prayer will be that it ends soon so I can go get one more piece of banana bread and get home to my TV.  This is not a picture of community.  Yet many of us have settled for this experience because we don’t know better or because we consider it a modern form of self-mortification.”

A lack of life.  Community groups with no life.  That’s got to be some kind of weird, church world oxymoron.  Can you really have a community group without life?  I wonder how many folks I know who think Brad House has secret insight into their own personal community group darkness.

Shouldn’t a community group be teeming with teeming life?  That’s the goal.  Ownership.  The gospel.  Mission.  Engaging neighbors.  Glorifying Christ.  With those elements unfolding in a community group, there would be life.  Life teeming with life.  Teeming with teeming life.  Abundant.  The kind Jesus died for.

CCC is poised to take community groups to the next level, and help Christ’s Church regain some life.  There’s much work to be done.  Leadership.  Vision cast.  Training.  The alternative is an unacceptable, life-less form of something we can no longer settle for.  What if lost people collided with zippy, intentional Christians pursuing Kingdom life?  Now THAT would be cool.

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