Because the pictures in the Bible are so familiar to all of us, it stands the risk of loosing some of its basic meaning.  A picture that’s repeatably used for church is family.  A church should be like a family.  Therefore we have regular family meetings at Kleipot Gemeente.  Today was one of them.  Our agenda is totally open, everyone can put any item on the list of talking points.  Today we talked about: 

  1. Choosing of elders.
  2. Living as a family.
  3. Responsibilities of a family.
  4. Our swing project.
  5. Praying for the sick in our services.
  6. Helping a school in Venda / our further involvement with the poor.

Here’s a short summary of what we discussed under each point:

Elders:  We will prayerfully consider people for eldership in the next couple of months.  Every member will read the passages concerning eldership and then ask God to show them who is already fulfilling the role as an elder.  We don’t want to choose people that might be elders, we want to identify those who already function in that role.

Living as a family:  We talked about the basic social responsibilities of a member of Kleipot Gemeente.  Stuff like letting someone know if you can’t make it to our family gatherings.  This raised the issue of our natural tendency to ditch our ‘spiritual family’ for other activities.  Whe then decided that we’ll create a three monthly accountability structure for our congregation where everyone will be paired up with a buddy.  The main aim of this is to create an atmosphere of community at Kleipot where someone can’t fall through the cracks.  In other words if you don’t make it to the weekly gatherings someone will wonder where you are and follow up.  It will be more than a roll-call ; it will be an excercise for getting to know someone better and stretching ourselves. If you’re sick , then we’ll pray.  If you’re celebrating then we’ll join you.  We ended this part of the meeting by going through our family list and asking people to phone those who couldn’t make our meeting and tell them what we decided.

Responsibilities of a family member:  We reminded each other that God gave everyone a spiritual gift and that we’re called to serve with it.

Our swing projects:  A couple in our congregation bought a hundred swings for a bargain.  The swings are excellent and we’re trying to sell them for a profit and donate all the money to the poor.  Our aim is to make R50 000.  One of our members told us that he went to the Apartheids museum the previous day and he shared how he walked away from the experience and wondered how he’s parents allowed something like that to happen.  He then reflected on what his son might ask him in thirty years.  He came up with , "Dad – how could you live in total affluence while someone went hungry in the slums?"

Praying for the sick during our services:  One of the regular spots in our service is to pray for the sick in our family.  Someone mentioned that the Word tells us to pray for those who are sick by the laying on of the hands.  We committed to always create this space during the service.

Helping a school in Venda / our further involvement with the poor:  In the next few months, our community will go through a deliberate study of what our responsibility is towards the poor.  Starting this week, every family member will commit to a two hour study for the next four weeks.  On every Thursday evening we’ll have a discussion as a community and then discern what we should do.

During our meeting we had some good conversations, not all of them easy.  Someone commented that we’re passing the ‘everybody is just nice and smiling at each other phase’ and he shared that it excites him.  Well , this is some of the nuts and bolt of the kingdom wave in Kleipot Gemeente.  I’m reminded of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 4:20,

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.