Linda Bailey is currently in the Philippines leading a short-term mission trip.  For two weeks she will be sharing some of her favourite REAP posts.  Here is the REAP she has chosen for today…

We are often quick to separate people into specific groups, especially when it comes to church.  It’s important to start encouraging a both/and mentality.

Acts 2.42-47

Reference:  v.46  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts… (NIV Bible)

Explore:  I’m a both/and kind of girl, not an either/or.  Let me explain:  If someone says do you prefer either chocolate or cheese?  I say, ‘Yes please! Give me both and let’s throw in some breads as well!’  If someone says do you prefer either skiing or swimming? I say, ‘Let’s go now!  And maybe we can white-water raft from the ski slopes to the beach!’
It just seems a shame that we need to box people into specific activities when there is so much of this world to enjoy.  Why not do both… and then some?!

Application:  I think this is true within churches as well.  There is often the debate about comparing either Mainstream church or Emerging church.  I say, ‘If it will bring you into a deeper relationship with God and help you live for Him, then go for it!’  Why can we not live together in harmony?  I think we need both versions of church in our society.  As Christians we are so quick to judge and condemn other Christians.  It’s like whatever someone else does reflects badly on our own faith.  But if we look back on the early Christians we see they were pretty all inclusive.  They met together in larger groups and they met in homes.  If some were still maintaining regular jobs, I don’t think everyone would have been able to make it to the temple everyday.  They would have come to the homes in the evening instead.  But that didn’t mean they were put in two different groups but all seen as part of the one ‘fellowship’.  It didn’t specify that one was better than the other or more important, they had cherished all forms of worship and togetherness.

Prayer:  Lord, I’m always so quick to judge others, based on my preferences.  Help me to have ‘Kingdom eyes’ so that I can see all the things that work towards bringing people closer to you.  Amen.

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.