Tag Archives: fellowship

A Battle of Wills

As a parent I know there are times when I have to stick to my guns, hold the line and not back down because, in the end, it will be better for my child – but sometimes it’s really hard!

About two weeks ago my wife and I decided it was time to transition our daughter, who’s nearly two, from her cot to her “big girl” bed.

With our second child due in August and after doing some research we decided that we needed to make the transition now so our daughter had time to adjust before number two arrived. To our surprise she took to the bed immediately, she loved it and didn’t think twice about the cot – awesome we both thought!

Of course being in a bed means she has more freedom to get up and out of bed when she feels like it. During the day this isn’t really a problem but the last few nights have been interesting. The first few nights she slept right through until 6:30am which for us is a sleep in given she usually wakes about 5:30am.

However the last two nights she’s felt the need to wake and come visit us at 4am proudly stating that it is now time to “play”. As you can imagine this is not greatly appreciated!

It’s been my task to take her back to bed as the tears begin to fall and she protests about going back to sleep. After about an hour or so of repeated trips to our room followed by immediate trips back to her bed with tears and cries in between, so far, she’s gone back to sleep.

We’re firm believers that repetition is the key to instilling learned behaviours in our daughter which is why we promptly take her back to her bed until she gets the message to stay there. We’ve even put a clock in her room and are teaching her that until it displays a six in the hour column it’s not time to get up (she already knows her numbers so she does understand what we mean). 

I wouldn’t say our daughter is particularly strong willed, she’s more than open to reasoning (even at this young age) but of course we need to remember how young she is and that we cant expect too much from her.

Nevertheless it’s a difficult battle of wills and as a parent it’s even more difficult to remember patience at 4am in the morning! We’re hoping that it doesn’t take too long for her to learn that night time is for sleeping not playing.

How about you, do you have an experience to share or any tips for teaching your child to stay in bed and sleep until a suitable time to wake up? I’d love to hear them!

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Filed under About Me, Family, Humour, leadership, Life Coaching, Parenting

Fellowship and Community #2

The other day I posted this and asked for your views on fellowship and community.

Today I offer my thoughts on the subject

Community implies being part of something without having to really ‘get involved’ and participate fully. For instance I live in a community but I don’t have to do anything to be part of it other than simply live where I live. I don’t have to attend meetings, get involved with the committees, join the PTA etc yet I’m still part of the community. There are a lot of people living in my community who I haven’t met and probably wont because we simply have no need to in our daily lives. We happily go about our business, say G’day when required and leave it at that.

Fellowship implies something deeper. It implies that conscious action is required in order to be in fellowship with someone else. For example in The Lord of the Rings the “Fellowship of the Ring” swear to work together for a common cause, to travel together, fight together and ultimately to reach the goal for which they were formed. They all agreed to live and act a certain way despite their very different backgrounds.

So for me, fellowship means that we are working together to achieve the same purpose, pooling our collective resources to learn from each other, rely on each other and to help each other succeed.  Unlike community if we are inactive then we’re not in true fellowship because fellowship is “moving” somewhere, it’s headed in a certain direction, aiming to achieve a common purpose or goal.

Within the church context I think we may misuse these terms. In it’s simplest form we use community to describe those “out there”, those not part of our church and fellowship to describe those “in here”, us, inside the church, that meet on Sundays and worship together.

Technically and based on my definitions above I think this is correct. The church is a gathering of people who have come together for a common purpose, to rely on each other, learn and grow together and succeed. We ‘fellowship’ together at our Sunday service because we are there for a common goal, we sing together learn together, take communion together, pray together etc. In theory this is true, but in reality we may have to concede that maybe our ‘gatherings’ are more like community than fellowship.

I think simply gathering on a Sunday for a worship service isn’t real fellowship, it’s more like community. If we don’t stop and take the time to go deeper with people and with God before, during or after the service then I think we can liken the experience to a sporting match. We all gather at a certain place at a certain time with lots of other people. We know roughly what to expect, how long it’s going to take and what the process is for participating. We keep to ourselves or the group we ‘came with’ being polite to those near us but not going deeper than surface level.

For me the key is intentionality. Fellowship must be intentional, driven, focused and with purpose. True fellowship requires us to delve below the surface to make ourselves vulnerable and open to others, to give of ourselves in order to meet another’s need and lets be honest this is often uncomfortable and why we find it so hard to do.

So let’s not confuse fellowship with community. Let’s be intentional in our actions, services, ministries, work, etc so that we may build deeper relationships with others and minister Jesus to them.

Agree/disagree? Your thoughts?

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Fellowship and Community

I need your help.

I was having a discussion with a friend about the church and its use of the words “fellowship” and “community” to describe what it does and the “atmosphere” it feels it creates for those that attend etc.

We mentioned that often the church uses those words interchangeably (e.g. “we enjoy great fellowship here at…” or “we enjoy great community here at…”) and to be honest I don’t think you can.

I think there is a distinct difference between the use and meaning of “fellowship” to that of “community” and to use them out of context begins to give false impressions of the church to those who attend and to those who don’t.

I have my thoughts on the differences but before I post them I’d like to hear from you.

What does “fellowship” and “community” mean in the context of the church?

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