Family love

On Sundays at 6pm we’ve been loving working through 1 Thessalonians. The theme of loving each other more and more has come up several times. We wanted to delve into this idea with some practical ideas.

So I asked some of you ‘What is one practical way we could love each other more at the 6pm?

The rules were simple – no grumbling! We were looking for answers with the tone of ‘hey, wouldn’t it be great if we did this a bit more at St Helens?’ This post is a little longer than normal, but that’s because you guys said such great things. Here’s what you came up with…

  • From 1 Thessalonians 2:13-3:10 we could act more on the fact that our eternal joy is tied up in one another being there in the end. This sermon challenged me to care and pray 'bigger' for people at the 6pm. If I'm asking how work's going or how a holiday has been, why am I not quicker in asking how they're going with God?
  • It’d be great if we were (and I 100% include myself in this) brave enough to rebuke one another a bit more. This is a great way to love one another even though it can be a difficult and awkward experience.
  • We could team up with two or three other friends, and pray regularly for one another and withone another about our holiness and purity and work.
  • Reading a book on a specific theme or an article and chatting through the main take home truths or applications.
  • I think the 6pm can be quite overwhelming; there are so many people. I wonder if we could love each other better if we all committed to deeply investing in two or three people each. So, being realistic and aiming to love a few people really well.
  • When we chat seeking to establish how the sermon series is affecting people's lives over time. If someone is still thinking about a sermon a week or month later, that suggests great progress and if they have forgotten then being reminded of it is to their best interest.
  • To give words of encouragement when one's feeling low and words of confirmation to let them know how thankful you are.
  • Wouldn't it be great if we actually asked each other about how living to please God by exerting sexual self control was going for us? I don't think we need to go into graphic detail about our sexual sin but I think we should be happy to show we care for each other by asking. And wouldn't it be great if being asked didn't make us feel judged but loved?
  • We need to listen carefully to each other first and respond appropriately and differently to each situation, always with gentleness (like a mother 2:7) and love. We can often see encouragement as just giving others a bible verse and saying we'll pray for them - and of course this is often encouraging - but sometimes doing this alone can come across as glib or judgmental if we aren't really sharing in someone's trials.
  • Often I've found that challenges that came from a long-term friendship where I trusted someone to listen to me carefully were those that struck home with most impact. Let's keep cultivating deep friendships.
  • I love seeing people from St Helen's helping each other out and showing love through sacrificial practical help - when someone on Facebook asks for help with babysitting or moving house and 10 people jump up to say they'll pitch in, that's encouraging to me as well as the person needing practical help.
  • Being the person who says 'shall we pray about that now?' at the end of a conversation.
  • Taking the initiative in making opportunities to talk about the topic of sexual control- finding someone I know well enough and saying 'Shall we bring this up every so often and chat about how we're finding it?'
  • There's something really nice about people just being friendly and welcoming to others and making a point of saying 'hello' to people joyfully - even if you only know them in passing.
  • To be better at loving each other, we need to serve one another. Specifically, one place where our church is in need of a bit of servant heartedness is in our Welcome teams. I would love to see more people serving the church by joining a Welcome team.
  • I love it when my church family wants to hear about my faith more than about my weekend. It helps me to remember that relationship with Jesus is indeed the most important thing I need to value and care about.
  • Have tea together before church to chat and pray for one another; or offer to pray for one another after a service.

Image by Flickr user Takashi Hososhima used under CC BY-NC-SA 2