(316) 858-9100 | 1831 E. 21st St, Andover KS

Circles and Rows

A couple months ago, I shared in one of our Sunday services how there are some topics/issues that I think are best taught in circles instead of rows. I want to take a little time explaining what I meant.

We understand our Sunday morning services are often the “front door” for someone coming to Hope. Like I wrote about in last week’s newsletter, we are noticing that times have changed and that many who join us have little to no understanding of Jesus and the scriptures. Our Sunday morning services are a time we gather in rows. Generally, during our services we teach verse by verse through the scriptures, which sometimes has us teaching on hot topic issues of the day, but rarely. During our Sunday services we often share with people the unconditional love of Jesus and the beauty of Jesus’ forgiveness and grace that comes to us from the cross. I believe Jesus’s love is the most powerful force in the universe to bring about life-transformation in people! While the cultural issues of the day are important, I’ve yet to see someone surrender their will on any of these issues without first having a genuine experience and understanding of Jesus’ love.

Once people have come to understand the love of Jesus, it’s our hope that they will join one of our smaller spaces to discuss some of the topics/issues best taught in circles. Some of the cultural issues we are facing require dialogue: they can be nuanced for the nonbeliever that doesn’t know scripture, and they require discernment and sensitivity, as there are real people behind every issue. We use Men’s and Women’s ministry, Small Groups, Recovery Groups, etc. as small spaces where we can gather in circles to have these important conversations.

This is why being a part of the Church is way more than just attending a Sunday service. Our Sunday services are an important time for us all to worship together and to study the scriptures. Yet, all of us also need to be in smaller spaces where we can build trusting relationships, ask hard questions, seek the scriptures for answers, and pray for one another.
This is why we believe both circles and rows are important and needed as we try to grow closer to Jesus and as we try to best reach the nonbelievers around us.