Last night I was invited to teach on the doctrine of election at a gathering of 40 people in Chicago. This is a regular meeting of believers from various churches in the area that press into the truth of Scripture with the aim of treasuring Jesus Christ. This is not only an "inward" gathering. They are also inviting their neighbors into specific gatherings with the aim of introducing them to Christ and his people.
Last night was, for me, easily one of the highlights of 2013.
It started with Preston Perry dropping one of his spoken word pieces on us. "Jesus IS God" was a powerful word to get us thinking--and feeling the truth.
After this I was up to teach on the doctrine of unconditional election. I am invited to speak at a lot of places these days, but this was the first time I was asked to speak on this subject, and I was pretty excited.
I spoke for about 30 minutes and then it was open for discussion. Eddie Everett (co-founder with Sam Smith of this gathering, called "Folklore") led the discussion, and often played the devil's advocate. But here's what happened: People legitimately wrestled with the heaviness of the doctrine, were humble, passionate, well-versed in the Scriptures, and continued to bring the discussion back to the glory of God in Jesus Christ in salvation.
At Redeemer we are big on community like this. We work hard at cultivating it in our Community Groups, but to see something like this happening among believers from different churches in such a healthy way was inspiring.
These brothers and sisters love the Lord, his church, and their neighbors. I pray we see much more of this in all our neighborhoods.
Craig and Jenah Hensel host this gathering at their home. They are amazing photographers, so if you need someone to shoot your wedding, family portraits, etc. check them out at fritzandfran.com. All the photos in this post were taken by Craig.