At The Table: Imagine You

At Lakeside we are about real relationships (between one another and God), living our lives for Jesus and serving the needs of others.  A couple of years ago we (at Lakeside) embarked on an amazing journey with God – to see our church revitalized by Him.  Part of that journey included God giving me a vision of a family dinner table with seats all around it. This table is to be a place at which people are actively welcomed and where room is made for new guests.  At this table, we believe certain things.

In most cultures, whoever sits at the “head of the table” carries authority.  We believe life around the table at Lakeside is centered with Jesus at the head which brings a sense of hope, meaning and purpose to life that (no matter your job, skin color, place in life, age or whether you’re a man or woman) invigorates living. 

We believe we’re being transformed from the heart into being more like Jesus – compassionate, caring, loving and kind. True abiding and life changing transformation comes from the heart.

The question is how do we get there? The journey can be perilous, but it is rewarding.

Jesus and the writers of the Bible lead us into transformation; however, the transformation of the heart is more than an academic and intellectual exercise – it’s not about amassing and mastering knowledge (facts, figures, Scripture quotes and systematic theology).  Some of the most intelligent, articulate and knowledgeable people you will meet, work with and even live with are far from following Jesus.

We must take in information, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and be in relationships that encourage us to follow Jesus. In these relationships, we ask the hard questions, hold one another accountable and tirelessly encourage one another. Are such relationships possible?

As I wrote previously, at Lakeside we’re about relationship (with God and one another).  There’s a problem; we come together on Sunday with gaps.  The gap is between who we really are and who we want people to think we are.  Call it what you want – masks, fronts or attitudes; many do not come as the person they really are.  If we came as we really are people would see our flaws, insecurities, sins and messiness. 

Of all the places where we should not have gaps – the church should be that place.  The church can be a place where people are open, sincere and transparent.

I believe that church is the place to be; however, maybe not what we call big church but rather, little church – small groups or life groups where we can work out the teaching of Scripture effectively.

Consider the following teachings…

“Confess your sins to one another” James 5:16   When was the last time you did this in a typical morning worship service? Can you imagine yourself just going up to someone and telling them your deepest held sin?  “If you see someone in sin, you who are spiritual confront such a one…” Galatians 6:1  How would this work if you randomly went up to someone in church and confronted them about their sin?  Hebrews 10: 23-25 - “spur one another on toward love and good deeds…”  It would come off as superficial and maybe even comical if we ran up to one another and started passionately exhorting one another to love and good works without knowing who we are to love and what good works to do.  What is missing in these examples? In all of the above – relationship is needed to make this work effectively.  This doesn’t happen in pews – it happens best in circles that are constructive and safe; it needs to be personal.  It takes time together to build relationships.

We believe that this can happen in Life Groups.  8 – 12 people meeting 2-4 times a month, sharing life and food together affords people the relationships that can lead to transformation.  Imagine you in a Life Group where you will be seen, heard and encouraged to grow for Jesus.  You in turn will help others grow in Christ and together you will become more life Him.

In Life groups you will learn, laugh, cry and grow together – you will face the ups and downs of life together.

Lakeside Life Groups have 3 core values:

1.     Build healthy relationships.

2.     Explore God’s Word

3.     Encourage One Another

We are starting new multi-generational groups here in Kirkland.  It is our aim to train facilitators, grow groups and give everyone the opportunity to experience real relationships that we believe will lead to true and abiding transformation from the heart.  Imagine you… walking in close relationship with others AND JESUS!

Go to www.lakesidechristian.net – look for Life Groups – you’ll notice we other on-going groups that gather around specific areas of interest – Mom, College, Women’s Studies etc. 

As a Pastor I am concerned for each and everyone of you.  I want you to each experience the amazing work of Christ in and through your life.  I don’t want you to miss out any of this.

Vince Armfield