JohnSWilson3 Blog


Synchroblog – Gospel for the Middle
July 9, 2012, 6:56 pm
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

The following exercise is from the synchroblog at http://frankviola.org/2012/07/09/gospelforthemiddle.

Fielding Melish and his wife Felicia have two children, ages 10 and 6. They live in a very remote part of Maine, USA. They are surrounded by extended family, none of whom are Christians. The nearest churches are one hour away, and by all evangelical standards, none of them are good. These churches are either highly legalistic, highly libertine, or just flat-out flaky.

One of Fielding’s cousins is a practicing Christian. They see each other once a year. Fielding’s cousin has shared Christ with Fielding many times over the years. Whenever they’ve talked about spiritual things, Fielding shows interest.

Felicia grew up in a Christian home. She’s received Christ, but she isn’t evangelistic and is overwhelmed with working long hours and raising two small children. She would love to find a church nearby for the spiritual support and instruction, but none exist.

Fielding has no college education. While he is capable of reading, he is not a reader. He doesn’t use the Web either. He’s a man who works with his hands, both for his career and for recreation. He’s an “outdoorsman.” He hunts, he builds, he does manual labor, etc. In his spare time, he helps his elderly parents with various building projects.

Fielding is not an atheist. Neither is he an agnostic. He believes in God. He believes Jesus is the Savior of the world who died for our sins and rose again from the dead. He hasn’t fully surrendered his life to Christ, but he is not sure what that looks like exactly. His children know a little about the Lord, mostly because of what their mother has taught them.

Recently Fielding asked this question:

When I’m with my cousin once a year, I want to learn more about God. But when I come back home, and I’m around everyone else, my mind is off of God, and I am back to working, raising my kids, and helping my parents. Someone needs to come up with a solution for people like me . . . people who are in the middle. (By “in the middle,” Fielding means someone who believes in Jesus, but who isn’t fully absorbed in the faith yet either. They simply don’t know enough nor do they have any spiritual support system around them.)

Relocating is not an option for Fielding and his wife. Even if they wanted to relocate, they don’t see a way they could do it financially.

Remember: Fielding and his wife don’t personally know any Christians. None of their extended family or coworkers are believers either. And the nearest churches (which are an hour away) aren’t recommended.

Question: If you were Fielding’s cousin, how would you instruct him and his wife the next time you saw them?

Here is my answer to the question.

Hi Fielding, I have been asking Father what to tell you about the things that you and Felicia have shared with me. I have been praying for you and me and our families.

I know brother that you and Felicia have been searching for a church home, you have a heart for God and Felicia would love a place where you all can gather to learn more about Christ and receive “spiritual support and instruction.” I have a couple of suggestions that might be something to consider to help you out and the family together, if you are willing to accept them.

I have found some of Frank Viola’s audio podcasts very encouraging and think that you and Felicia might find that to be the same as well. The two of you could perhaps take some time together each week and listen to them and talk about what you think Jesus is telling you from them.

God so desires that when brothers and sisters come together they come together like a family. Wow, and we have so much family in this area, albeit our physical family. Perhaps at some of the family get togethers you might broach the subject of perhaps meeting from time to time, maybe each month or so and have a potluck to listen to Frank’s podcast and then talk about what you learned from it. (Here is the link: http://frankviola.org/podcast/).

I know this may not seem like church but really church is about family, eating together, helping each other, loving one another in practical ways, and sharing what we are learning about Jesus together and others. At least this is how the first brothers and sisters got together. Today church has gotten a bit complex, we can be the church in our homes or wherever we can get together. God likes to keep it simple, we make it difficult.

Brother, I know I only visit only once a year. I am praying about whether God would allow me and my family to move closer so we might get together more often.

So what do you think brother? What is God telling you about what I’ve shared?

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