To Know & Be Known
Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.
“It was Good Friday and the phone rang with the terrible news that there was an explosion at Faust Garage. Ronnie Garner was badly burned and was rushed to the hospital, but doctors were unsure he’d survive. The family hung up the phone and gathered to pray for the Garner Family. The mother proceed to call others and ask them to pray for the Garner Family.
News surfaced that Ronnie had been working overtime to help cover the medical costs for the upcoming heart surgery for his daughter, Diane. He was at the garage cleaning windows with a highly flammable substance and failed to open a window for ventilation. The fumes reached a open-flame pilot light. It was miracle Ronnie made it out, but the doctors feared treatment might push his body over the edge and result in the loss of his life.
All through Friday and Saturday the church prayed. Prayers of belief, while still bracing for the worst. Easter Sunday came and it lacked the normal celebratory feel. The pastor was absent at the start of the worship gathering, but entered the sanctuary just prior to the sermon. He walked to the stage to inform the church the news, “Ronnie is still alive. The doctors don’t understand how, but they will now pursue treatment. It’s gonna be a long road to recovery. Ronnie is gonna need a number of surgeries and blood transfusions. The family will need meals, financial support, help with transportation, and our prayers in the coming months. Let’s think how we can help. We are, after all, the Family of God.”
This story is what inspired the hymn, “Family of God” by Bill and Gloria Gaither, and is a magnificent picture of the Gospel. Those who trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior have been adopted into the “Family of God.” We share life together, in good seasons and bad seasons. The Gospel unites us into a family so we can accomplish Jesus’ mission to be disciples who make disciples and fill every inch of the earth with the glory of God.
Doxa Communities are families united by the Gospel and for the Gospel. One of the distinct ways is “shared life.” Discipleship has always been about proximity, not a program or a place. It’s a life-on-life endeavor in which God’s people know and are known by others. Therefore, our Doxa Communities have several key elements to help stimulate growth in the family identity.
SHARING A MEAL
An important part of relationships is food. Just read the gospel of Luke. There are countless times we see the Lord Jesus sharing a meal with people. Tim Chester rightly said, “Food connects.” Sharing a meal together creates moments to love and listen and grow in unity. Doxa Communities may choose whether a meal is included at every gathering, but once a month would be the minimum, on the week focusing on the identity of family.
Stories are an integral part of culture. Humans are story lovers. From movies to music to books, people love to hear a good story and are willing to pay to hear it. Many stories are built off the narrative of Scripture. They are sad copies of the glorious story of redemption that God saves sinners through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Growing as a family begins with hearing other’s Gospel Stories.