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  • Writer's pictureFirst Christian Church of Chicago

More Than Observing Worship

Posted February 22, 2023 by Steven Chapman


I must admit that the pandemic has had a devastating effect on the church in America. It was hard enough prior to the pandemic. The pandemic has exponentially exacerbated problems that existed prior to the pandemic. Recovery from the pandemic will only occur as we correct some misconceptions that the pandemic multiplied.

For example, the pandemic taught us that we can do without the personal contact of church in person. It was so much easier to just get up in our pjs, and tune into YouTube to observe worship online (the crucial word in that sentence is “observe”). It has made it hard for many people to see the value of returning to fellowship with the church body. However, observing or even participating in worship is not what Jesus calls us to.

What did Jesus call us to? He called us to be his disciples, and to follow (read imitate) him. Jesus wants us to become people who eat, breath and sleep him, and then become just like that. That simply put is what a disciple is.

The problem is we don’t become disciples by watching a worship service. We become disciples by engaging in life with others who are taking that same journey toward being a disciple. Disciples need other disciples to pour Jesus into their lives. We grow best in the context of relationships.

For that reason, even attending worship services is inadequate to form us into disciples. Oh, worship is a necessary part of allegiance to God, but it springs from being a disciple more than produces a disciple.

That is why I am so adamant about group life being as the principle environment for community and growth at FCCC. Groups allows us to be transparent, to share the struggles of our spiritual journey. Groups allow us to celebrate our spiritual joys and victories with others. Groups allow us to explore faith with those who are veterans, spiritual rookies, or even those going through a try-out in the faith.

We currently have four group environments meeting regularly. We would love to see more started by members of FCCC. I want to begin additional group environments myself. Let me know if you are interested in starting a group.

I would love to see you become part of one of these group (or start one yourself) so that you can experience the joy of being a disciple, and help others discover it as well.


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