Blog

/Blog/

One-Anothering 2

The tag-line we have chosen for our new logo, “Where Church is Family” is especially appropriate for us considering our experience over the past year. The lockdown in many cases created a lockout for many of us in regard to our church family relationships. I can’t help but draw parallels to my biological family relationships.

Our children all live in Arkansas and our mothers live in Alabama. For most of the year we were stuck in the middle (literally, in Mississippi) close to four hours drive from both. Our busy lifestyles, job situations, and health concerns kept us from our normal visits and holiday celebrations. We talked a lot on the phone. We Zoomed and Facetimed each other. We even arranged to make a few “socially distanced” in person activities, but it was just not the same. In our case, we are a close-knit family group, so while difficult; the year didn’t prove devastating to our relationships. However, I know that is not the case with all families and certainly not with many in the church.

For many churches the lockdown has devastated church attendance, contribution, Bible school programs, ministries, spiritual growth,
discipleship efforts, and personal relationships. The Boise church has not been spared these difficulties. However, for many of us (perhaps most), our spiritual maturity and close-knit relationships have allowed us to survive this ordeal. Not everyone can make that claim and even those of us who can, have suffered.

This is why we need to remember that our church is family. We are the children of God. He is our Father. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. The church is called the household (family) of God (John 1:12; Matthew 5:23-24, 6:9, 12:50; Ephesians 1:5, 2:19; 1 Timothy 3:15).

As family, we have relationships with each other that need to be cultivated, nurtured, and grown. This is where the Bible speaks of the one-another bond we share. Allelon, “one another” is a reciprocal pronoun found one hundred times in the Greek New Testament. It is usually translated “one another” or “each other” and used as a direct object like in John 13:34,  “Love one another.” It is word that describes a relationship which, as in this case, is mutual and reciprocal. We are commanded to reciprocally love one another as Jesus’ disciples.

This mutuality is the subject of my latest series of messages. I’m using the term one-anothering to describe the behavior we are to exhibit in our relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Last week I spoke on our need to encourage, strengthen, motivate one another. This week we will discuss the need to pray for and confess our sins to each other and the many ways the Bible teaches that we are to help each other. Please join us!

Have a Great week! Joey

By | 2021-06-12T01:56:44-06:00 June 12th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

One-Anothering


(allelon, “one another”)

is a reciprocal pronoun found one-hundred times in the Greek New Testament.  It is usually translated “one another” or “each other” and used as a direct object like in John 13:34,

A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

It is word that describes a relationship which, as in this case, is mutual and reciprocal.  We are commanded to reciprocally love one another as Jesus’ disciples.

While love is the overarching characteristic of our relationship with our fellow Christians, this mutuality is expressed in many different forms which are born out by the many occurrences in the NT.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10); Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21, 1 Peter 5:5); Consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3); Look to the interests of one another (Philippians 2:4); Clothe yourselves with humility towards one another (1 Peter 5:5); Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16); etc.

This mutuality is the subject of my latest series of messages.  I’m using the term one-anothering to describe the behavior we are to exhibit in our relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

I choose these lessons, at this time, because of the disconnection most of us have experienced because of our inability to assemble and fellowship, as we were accustomed, due to the pandemic.  Because of the wonders of technology (streaming, podcasts, Zoom, etc.), there is a tendency to think we can experience the fullness of Christian life without a personal connection with the rest of the body.  While these separations were necessary for a time, God never intended his church to exist as isolated individuals.  We need to interact with each other for encouragement, strength, and motivation.

Sunday, I’ll be sharing several one-anothering behaviors under these three categories; we are to encourage, strengthen, and motivate one-another as disciples of the Lord, Jesus Christ.  Please join us.

Have a Great week!  Joey

By | 2021-06-04T18:31:12-06:00 June 4th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Finding our Purpose as a Post-Covid Church

Sunday, we conclude our series on Purpose by examining our place in a postcovid world. 

I realize it is premature to say postcovid since the virus is still very much a part of our lives.  However, it feels like we have begun to turn the corner.  Reports of cases and deaths are way down, at least in many parts of our country, and things are beginning to open upThose of us who have been vaccinated or who have already recovered from the virus are feeling safer as we venture out of our homes to shopping centers, restaurants, and church services.

However, as we look toward a postcovid world (hopefully, in the near future), we have to admit that the virus has dealt a hard blow to our way of life and especially to the church.  It has caused us to rethink how we do church and what church will look like in the future.  This week’s lesson is designed to help us take some preliminary steps to return as much to normal as possible, but also to look forward to the exciting opportunities God has in store for us. 

Have a Great Week!  Joey

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.

Ephesians 3:2021

By | 2021-05-29T16:47:09-06:00 May 29th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Finding Our Purpose as a Church – Our Vision

Last week we resumed our series on Purpose to discuss our purpose as a church.  We began with some foundational truths from Ephesians 4:11-16.

  1.   God Accomplishes His Work Through the Church.
  2.   God Has Gifted the Church to Accomplish his Work.
  3.   God Has Ordained that Church Leaders Prepare the Church for His Work.
  4.   God Expects Every Member of the Church to Do His/Her Part in Accomplishing His Work.

We also learned that the fundamental purpose of the church is to glorify God in everything that we do.

Ephesians 1:11-12 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

A quick examination of Acts 2:42-47 revealed that the early church directed their efforts to glorify God in three directions –inward in discipleship and fellowship; outward in service and evangelism; and upward in worship.  In this week’s message, we want to specifically apply this to the Boise church as we have historically perceived our purpose/vision.  A few years back we adopted the following vision statement.

“To participate with Jesus in fulfilling His Great Commission in our lifetime, to become and make mature disciples.”

Of course this statement is based on the “Great Commission” Jesus gave to his disciples in Matthew 28:18-20;  Mark 16:15-16;  Luke 24:46-49;  Acts 1:8;  & John 20:20-22.

Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Mark 16:15-16 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

Luke 24:46-49 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

John 20:20-22 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.  Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Our vision statement attempts to incorporate this specific charge as the heart of our mission.

Have a Great Week!
Joey

By | 2021-05-22T18:40:50-06:00 May 22nd, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Meet Our New Minister!

Dr. Joey A. Gafford is a native of Birmingham, AL.  He has ministered with churches of Christ for over 45 years (39 full-time) in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, California, and now Idaho.  He recently concluded twelve years of service with the Southside Church of Christ in Grenada, MS.  He began work as Lead Minister with the Boise church Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021.

Dr. Gafford is a product of 37 years of Christian education beginning with West Birmingham Christian School (K-12).  He has an AA in Bible from Faulkner University, BA in Bible from Freed-Hardeman University, MA and MDiv in New Testament from Turner School of Theology at Amridge University, and a DMin in Preaching from the Harding School of Theology. He is the author of The Rhetorical Effect of Closure in Narrative Sermons.  He has also written many non-published Bible study booklets and resources.

He has been happily married 39 years to the former Tina Marie Hester of Tuscumbia, AL. They have three children:  Joe Aaron Gafford, II (28); Kayla Marie Riley (26); and Joshua Andrew Gafford (24).  Joe and Kayla are both married.  Their children reside near or in Little Rock, AR.  Dr. Gafford’s wife, Tina, ministers with her husband and currently serves as a homemaker.

By | 2021-05-16T01:12:26-06:00 May 16th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments