Nigel told us this classic story at last week’s Connect Groups launch night…
“There were four people called Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.
An important job had to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.”
We had this up in our kitchen when I was growing up. I remember scribbling our names on it so my sisters were Everybody and Anybody, and I was Nobody. “Hannah could have done it, but Nathan did it, etc..” Good old me. But really when something actually needed to be done, it usually was Nobody who did it.
Church can easily become like that. We think that church is somewhere we attend. It’s just one of our many weekly interests. But everything church is about… well, Everybody thinks it’s all Somebody else’s job.
But, as we saw in the Bible at our Connect Groups Launch, and as we’ve tried to spell out in our Connect Group aims, church is one another thing. Take a look at 1 Peter 4:7-11 and spot the three ‘one anothers’:
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has receive a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Love one another. Show hospitality to one another. Serve one another.
And throughout the Bible there are so many other one anothers. Church is a one another thing. But it’s so easy to see church and even our Connect Groups as something which somebody else runs for our benefit, rather than a group I’m part of and should be involved in for other people’s benefit. Love and hospitality and service mustn’t be one way traffic; we should do these things for one another. Nobody leaving Somebody to do it, but Everybody getting on with the important job that was given to them. Anybody?
QUESTION: How might you be able to grow in living out church as a one another thing in your new group?
This is the second of a short series of posts about our new Connect Groups. Keep checking back for more.