Thinking Outward
Thinking Outward

Thinking Outward

Thinking Outward

One of my favorite books about how Christians should engage with the culture is called The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher. Not “Benedict” like Benedict Arnold, but as in St. Benedict, referring to a group of monks that follow in the tradition he began in 529 AD. We usually think of monks as being reclusive, pulling away from society in their remote monastery to focus on prayer, only coming out to sell the cheese or beverages they make. And that is usually true, but Dreher observed one particular group in Italy that took a more determined approach to their mission.

Instead of building far from town (reclusive), and instead of building directly in the center of town (completely ingrained with society), they built the monastery right on the edge of town. This partly symbolized that they were “in the world but not of the world.” It also brought them closer to the people they were there to serve and shaped their mindset to be more focused on serving the community where they were planted. The location allowed a ready retreat to their monastery to preserve their culture of prayer, worship, and intentional holiness.

Dreher observed that Christians in general can learn much from this mindset in order to have an influence in our world today: We need to be outwardly focused, but also intentional to preserve our culture, primarily our commitment to following Christ and obeying his Word. This Sunday we will look at a few verses that show the strong connection between love and obedience. And it does it in a surprising way. We’ll be building on last week’s sermon as Jesus continues to respond to the questions from the disciples. You can read ahead in John 14:12-21.

Valley View Is All About Inviting

I found Dreher’s book encouraging, and it reminded me of something I’ve always loved about Valley View. In fact, I think one simple question will reveal so much about what I love about this church: How did you come to Valley View? When I ask a visitor, “How did you hear about us?” the response is usually along the lines of “A neighbor invited me,” or “A coworker” or “A family member.” And yes, for many (including myself) it may have been your parents who “invited” you right after you were born, but that counts too! I love that Valley View is an inviting church and an outreach oriented church. It is because we know and love Christ that we can pour into the lives of others.

Here’s my encouragement to you this weekPray about inviting someone to the fall-festival chili-cookoff. Our ballfield has been a great place for people to make a first connection with the church. For many, the experience is not as threatening as regular Sunday services. This will be a great opportunity on October 15th to bring someone and help them make connections. You never know how God might use that day to begin to work anew in someone’s life.

Pause right now and pray and see if God puts a friend on your heart. If everyone just invited one other family, we’d have a big day of outreach. And who knows, maybe a few of those will join me in trying out some of the hot chili. Let’s see God move this fall in Valley Station, PRP, and all over Southwest Louisville!

Photo by NONRESIDENT on Unsplash

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