Welcome to the common – a way for all who call SCPC home to love and serve one another. This is an idea that was largely inspired by Acts 2:44-45 which comes in the middle of a passage that describes the very early church of King Jesus in the following way:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything IN COMMON. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
I often wonder about how we can get closer to this God-glorifying model of church and I hope that “the common” might help us to take another step in that direction.
The idea is really very simple, it’s called SHARING! It’s something we expect our kids to do but somehow seem to think that when we grow up we have the right to stop! Why is that?! Whatever the answer, it’s an attitude that’s just not good enough for people who know God’s generosity in Christ. God’s people should be GENEROUS people – generous towards God and generous towards each other. 1 Timothy 6:18 reminds of this: “be rich in good deeds, … be generous and willing to share”.
But often the problem is not that we don’t WANT to be generous and willing to share but that we don’t know HOW. The common aims to address that problem head on. Read on to learn how…
how it works
- You need to borrow something and think there might be someone in the church family who could help – but who?
- You jump on the church website, click on “the common” link on the right hand side of the screen (its the one with the picture of the trailer!)
- Click on the relevant category and see if what you’re after is available
- If you find what you need, grab your ‘crosswires’, pick up the phone and make the necessary arrangements with the lender (it would be wise to agree on pick-up & drop-off, duration of loan and of course to communicate any special information regarding safety of operation etc.)
- If you are able and willing, consider making a gift to the common fund
guidelines for borrowers
On the surface, the Bible doesn’t seem to have much to say about “borrowing”. But when you dig a bit deeper and broaden the category just a little you discover this couldn’t be further from the truth. If we think about “receiving” rather than “borrowing” then all of a sudden God’s word starts to become extremely relevant! The Bible is about God’s great gift to us in Jesus and how we are to receive that gift and the further blessings that flow from it. The fundamental attitude of Christians towards God should be one of humility, gratitude and thankfulness – the sort of gratitude and thankfulness that overflows in how we relate to others. The common is intended to be a means of extending God’s blessing throughout our church family. So if you borrow something, make sure that you do it with gratitude in your heart to God and to the person whose kindness and generosity you are experiencing. This attitude should also help you to take good care of what has been entrusted to your possession.
1 John 4:11
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
how it works
- You’ve got something – anything that could be useful to someone else – and you want to either share it or give it away
- On the SCPC website, click on ‘The Common’ link in the sidebar, then click ‘List new item’ (underneath the category icons).
- Your items are added under appropriate headings and you are identified as the owner (note: to protect privacy we won’t include contact details. SCPCers will be able to find you in ‘crosswires’)
- If someone in the church family wants to borrow one of your items they will make contact with you and make the necessary arrangements (it would be wise to agree on pick-up & drop-off, duration of loan and of course to communicate any special information regarding safety of operation etc.)
guidelines for lenders
The Bible has some really challenging things to say about our attitude towards our possessions – too many to look at here. But the following verses are the most helpful for describing the attitude that should characterize people who would like to lend on the common:
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
So as you lend on the common, please make sure that you are doing it out of genuine generosity, rejoicing in the privilege of being “sons of the Most High”.