We had another Encounters with Jesus evening. Started with a barbeque and just enjoyed some relational time together. And then we did the Zaccheus story. You can find the story here.
First off I have to say again that this community has become a real community. It's amazing to me to see how they have pulled together to be there for me. We have become the church.
Second, we talked a lot tonight about transformation--what is it, where does it come from, how does it happen, etc. The application question was focused on how Jesus has changed us and how we would like to ask Jesus to transform us. That part was probably the most encouraging to me tonight. A couple of people shared things tonight about ways they've been transformed, and I think they actually have. Like I can confirm as an actual witness of how they actually have changed in these areas. It is a gift to be able to see these tangible changes in people's lives because it's often so hard to see them in my own life.
The questions in my community seem to be changing some. People seem hungry to know more about how to apply the stories to their own life. I think that we're going to have to start producing some practical devotionals that people can use to get deeper into the stories and deeper into the ways that God wants to use them to change us. I think we've moved now from a seeking community to a growing community and we need to provide some more materials to help people on that journey.
I'm struggling too to determine whether we need to keep doing storying or move on to something else. I am still challenged by the stories I read--they still motivate me to action and transformation. But it feels like maybe we need to move toward more typical teaching--having a certain point we're trying to make. Like maybe using the pastoral books or something. But I wonder if that's because it's more comfortable or because that's what I know rather than what will actually be more effective.
So I don't know. I don't know what we'll do or where we'll go from here. But I'll keep sharing how it's going and what we're doing.