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Connecting with Church Family

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
January 12, 2023 9:00 am

Connecting with Church Family

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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January 12, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks about the importance of having a church family and making sure that you are connected to a body of believers.

If you like this content and want to support the show you can visit us at Don't forget to rate and review our show! To learn more about us, visit us at If you have any questions or would like to contact us, email us at or text us at 252-582-5028. See you tomorrow on Clearview Today!

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Hello, everyone.

Today is Thursday, January the 12th. I'm Ryan Hill. And I'm David Williamson. And you're listening to Clear View Today with Dr. Abidhan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can find us online at

Or if you have a question for Dr. Shah, anything you'd like to write in and suggest that we talk about, send us a text at 252-582-5028. Or you can send us an email at contact at And you can help keep this conversation going by supporting us on the podcast app.

That's normally iTunes or Spotify. You can leave a rating or review. Or you can support us monetarily by donating at

That's right. Make sure you're leaving those ratings and reviews. And if you're not already, follow us on social media, Facebook and Instagram. You'll see things like the verse of the day images that you can share with people. Obviously, on Facebook, you get the video podcast. And then we'll release a lineup of subjects at the top of the week so you can know what's coming up this week and which episodes. Hopefully, all of it you want to tune into, but which ones you want to especially, you know, maybe save or send to somebody.

Kind of mark on your calendar. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, for sure. Ready for the verse of the day? I believe so. All right.

The verse of the day today comes from Philippians chapter two, verses 14 and 15. Actually, I'm not ready. Okay. You want to take a second?

Okay, I'm ready. Okay. So the verse or verses of the day, Philippians chapter two, verses 14 and 15.

Do everything without grumbling or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure. Children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Wow. You always, you always hear how we're supposed to be different. We're supposed to be set apart.

Yeah. But I think this verse encapsulates that pretty powerfully when it puts the children of God beside a warped and crooked generation. Also, I mean, look at what it's saying about the warped and crooked generation. It's saying do everything without grumbling or arguing. So there's a sense of ungratefulness and a sense of disunity in that warped and that crookedness. And we're not called to be that way.

We're called to do everything with gratitude. And we're called to be unified because I mean, we're all the body of Christ. That's right. That's right.

Wow. So we're unified as the body of Christ. I'm really trying to get these segues like, you know, real smooth. One thing that works toward body unification is making sure that you work every muscle group. Like you dedicate time in the gym to that muscle group.

One of the ones I feel like that gets skipped over a lot is your legs. Are we still talking about the body of Christ? Are we in the... No, no, this is our physical body.

This is like our physical body. Yes. Yeah.

This is like my personal body. Gotcha. Yeah. We've left the spiritual realm. Now we're in the physical realm. Just so I'm clear.

Just so you're tracking, we are talking about like the actual physical muscle. But it felt like a segue that kind of, I was thinking more like do all things without grumbling. Tell me about your leg workouts. It's a lot of grumbling.

No, I'm playing. I try to not ever skip leg day. If I'm going to skip a day, it's not going to be that. Because here's the thing, when I skip legs, if it'd be a week, if it'd be two weeks, however long it is, when I go back and do legs, it's the worst feeling ever.

It's awful. The thing is, when you do your legs, after you use them, after you lift all that extra weight, you're constantly using them. So they're sore. But once you have done it a little while, your legs know like, okay, I know how to handle this. I know how to heal myself. Once you take a break and then do it again, I don't know if your legs are like getting revenge, but it's like double the pain. We're going to fix you today. You think you can do that again?

Skip us one more time. Yeah. No, it's the worst. Yeah.

You brought up a good point. Like your legs are a muscle group that is almost constantly in use. You can rest your arms, you can rest your chest, you can rest your abs, you can rest your back.

But unless you're just sitting down the rest of the day, your legs are going to be in use at some point. After it's been a little while, like I know this morning I was in the gym and Thomas was there. He said that this is his first time hitting the legs after like three weeks because of all the break stuff with school. I'm really not looking forward to seeing how he is tomorrow.

Of course. I mean, Thomas is 16, so he'll bounce back quick. He'll be fine. He'll be all right.

Eat a Big Mac and some Coke. Yeah. He'll be fine.

He'll be okay. Yeah. What's your favorite leg workout?

I don't even know. I mean, that's hard because I really like legs. Most people don't like legs, but after I got into it, I started liking them. I like doing front squats because I can really feel it. But one that I'm kind of ashamed to admit because it's the worst looking one in the gym are hip thrusts. Really?

I don't know why that is. I really feel it work even in my hamstrings. So I feel it work pretty well, but it's the worst looking one in the gym. My favorite is deadlifts. Yeah. My favorite is deadlifts because it makes me feel like- Strong. Very strong. I'm like, all right. And then I go to another exercise and I'm just sad. With deadlifts, I think I got to like 225, but nothing else. Yeah. That's it.

Deadlifts are definitely the strongest exercise. Well, on today's episode, we're beginning a two-part series talking about the importance of being connected with our church family. We use that kind of language a lot, but there are some people that might be unfamiliar with talking about the church like a church family. It's so much more than just attending service. It's so much more than just coming and listening, although that is important. You shouldn't neglect that. But there's a family to belong to. There's something beyond service times that happens that you need to be a part of and you can't afford to miss. So we're going to talk about that today, but if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can visit us online at

We're going to get Dr. Shah, and we'll be right back. Hey, everyone. My name's Ellie.

And I'm David. And we want to take a minute and let you know how we can actually serve you as you're listening to Clearview Today. The Bible paints an extraordinary picture of who we are as a church body. The mission of Clearview Church is to lead all people into a life-changing, ever-growing relationship with Jesus Christ. A huge part of leading people is praying for them. A big reason that Christians have unanswered prayers in their life is because they're not praying.

You know, 1 John 5.15 says, and if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of him. If you're listening to the Clearview Today show, we want to know how we can pray for you as well. There's a number of ways that you can get in touch with us at Clearview and share your prayer requests, but the best way is by texting us at 252-582-5028. You can also send us an email at prayer at, or you can download the Clearview app on iTunes or Google Play.

You know, on that app, there's a dedicated prayer wall that helps us to get to know what's going on in your life, how we can pray for you, and how we can take any necessary steps to get you moving in the right direction. Thanks for listening. Now let's get back to the show. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You can visit us online at, or if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. Dr. Shah, welcome to the studio today. How are you?

I'm doing very well. I'm excited about today's message, or I should say message, not message, show. Our topic.

Yeah, our episode today. But it has a message in it, and I'm really excited about that. It's an important one today. Not that they're not all, but today especially, I feel like it's very applicable. Yeah, because I mean, this is the world in which we live.

Christians feel disconnected, or they have found an alternative means or way to connect, which is going to be detrimental to our faith. And I'm ready to talk about that. So anyways. And I mean, one way that you connect with us here at Clear View is by following Dr. Shah on his website at And in case you're wondering, why should I connect with Dr. Shah? Why should I, you know... Please tell him why. Let me tell you why. Please tell him why. Because in case you're joining us today, he is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor. That's not all.

He's the host of today's show. You love a good segue, don't you? I'm trying, my heart is... I see you searching for it every time.

Like, how can I bridge these words together? You do a good job. You do a very good job. You should have seen me, like when y'all started, you started talking and I was like, I do not have the run sheet up. So I was like, scrolling over here.

Quick, quick, pull up my notes. Well, like we talked about, we're going to talk about the importance of connection today. You know, many times people are, like you said, Dr. Shah, people are seeking that feeling of connectedness, but they're engaging in methods of trying to connect with one another that are actually detrimental to the health of the church.

And it's oftentimes an area that many Christians just outright neglect altogether. Right. Especially in the past two years of the pandemic where, you know, we have seen people disconnect in ways that probably never in the history of the world where people just stop connecting, you know, and, and initially it was like, oh yeah, we're going to do this on social media. We're going to do this on zoom, or we're going to find, what's the other one that Microsoft had?

Teams or whatever. And it was okay initially, but then quickly we realized, I don't think human beings were meant to function like that, you know? And so technology is great. We can reconnect with friends on social media, people we haven't seen in 30, 40, 50 years and just pick up where we left off. But in the body of Christ, in the church, we cannot do that. Okay.

Those connections are great that you can see somebody's pictures or somebody's, you know, status update or some wonderful things have happened in their life or some tragic things have happened in their lives and just be like, oh, hey, praying for you or man miss you or hey, congratulations. But Christianity or Christian life is much more than those, those, you know, trite phrases. Congratulations. Sorry for you.

Praying for you in my thoughts and prayers. Christianity goes more than that. And maybe because we didn't have good connections already that when the connections broke down or we were, you know, scattered that it didn't faze us as much. We didn't feel that pain of separation like we thought we would. We expected people to feel it. Yeah.

If your arm is already numb, it's hard to feel it when it gets like lopped off. Right. I mean, that's a good way for me to bring up an illustration. I mean, if you ever stubbed your toe, have you ever done this? Middle of the night, in the morning, somewhere in the dark room. Right on the corner of the bedpost.

Yes. You know, when you stubbed your toe, here's a question. Where did you feel it?

Everywhere. I felt it like out my pinky. I felt it in my earlobes. I felt it everywhere.

That's right. You know what you call that? You call that the referred pain. Referred pain, you know, it's just like the brain freeze.

It's, it's you, you eat something cold and all of a sudden your forehead starts hurting. So the whole point is this, you know, we are part of a body and when you're part of a body, we are connected with each other. And because of that, when any part of the body feels something, others also experience it, whether it's good or bad, whether it's joy or sadness.

And that's how it should be. Okay. So if you grew up in a church where people didn't care to connect, okay, I'm sorry to break this to you, but that was not genuine, authentic Christianity. If you grew up in a church where people's confidence was broken and you know, gossip came in or backstabbing happened and you just don't trust people.

I totally understand. You should not be telling anybody in that group, anything private in your life because they will use it against you. Nonetheless, it is vital for you to go back to authentic biblical Christianity, which is you do share with people, you do trust people.

Of course, there are some private things that don't need to be hung out there for the whole world to see. That's just between you and your spouse or you and your family or you and the Lord, but overall there should be connections. And this is New Testament Christianity. And I think that's something that has always amazed me about Clearview is that even before 2020, I know people in 2020 were like, wow, these guys are, you know, they're standing up and they believe in the power of meeting and connecting. But even before that, I feel like we had done like messages and stuff on that. I think it was in 2018, there was that series on discipleship and there was a message about togetherness and how important it is that even no matter what's happening, we need, we need each other.

We need to be connected. Well, you know, if you go back to the book of Acts chapter two, verse 41, it says, then those who gladly received his word, Peter's words were baptized. And that day about 3000 souls were added to them and they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship in the breaking of bread and in prayer.

So it's not just a doctrine. It's not just, they were Orthodox or conservative, but they were also connecting with each other. They were in fellowship and they're breaking of bread, which means they were going from house to house.

Fellowship is not just shaking hands before service or after service and making small talk, but there's also a place for breaking bread, which is eating together, spending time with the other. And I know it's kind of, we joke about that statement, but kind of doing life together with people. And that's where you really get to know people.

Like you said, Dave, that's, that's kind of always been something here at Clearview. You know, something I appreciate so much about you, Dr. Sean, Nicole, you guys have established that culture here so that when, you know, when we came at the various points in our church's history, when we arrived, that feeling of togetherness, that feeling of connection was just inherent. I mean, we see, we see people coming in the doors now who were just saying things like, I'm visiting for the first time, but this feels like home. It feels like I've always belonged here.

And that's that feeling of togetherness, that feeling of connection. And I'll be the first to tell you, we're not where we need to be. There's a lot of work we have to do on discipleship.

And we began that work and then, you know, this, this, this thing called a pandemic happened and it just kind of went out the window, but we're bringing it back where we have begun that process again, last fall, 2022 fall. And we're really buckling down on getting people discipled. And the way we do that at Clearview is we have an acronym called WATER, WATER, W-A-T-E-R. Why water? Maybe to represent baptism, I guess, you know, but each letter of that word represents something in the process of discipleship. So W stands for witnesses. A stands for accountability. T, togetherness. E, established in the word.

And the last one is R, WATER, R is reproducing. So each of those letters represents something that is vital for every believer to become a disciple. And this was something original to you. This is something that we snatched from somewhere. This was original to you and your research and something that, you know, prayerfully came up with.

Yes. I mean, now I have through the years studied discipleship masters. You know, some, some of the best disciplers in the world and their understanding on how discipleship should happen.

And I've taken that and, and sort of made it our own and brought in things from my own observation, from my own study of the Bible and put it in there. So the first one is W, W is witnesses. Now, typically when people talk about witnesses, they're talking about a witnessing program. I'm not talking about a program. All the programs are great, by the way. Just know there are some people who knock programs like, oh, CWT, E, faith and all that. Well, my question to you is, what is your way of witnessing to people?

What program do you have? Or do you have any pattern? Do you have any way to lead someone to Christ? If you say, well, no, man, it just organically happens. Well, how does it happen?

What, what, what steps do they take? Well, I mean, I tell them about Jesus. Okay. There you go. There's your program.

You have a program. But witnesses, when we look at New Testament, especially the book of Acts, when it talked about witnesses to me, they were literally eyewitnesses to Christ. Eyewitnesses to his death, burial and resurrection. Eyewitnesses to his commission, which is go into all the world. Eyewitnesses to even in the book of Acts, when Jesus was, you know, taken up from them, he's telling them, you know, go into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the other most parts of the earth.

They were to simply tell the world what they had seen. So also with us, a disciple should be able to tell the world what God has done in his life or her life. That's that's, uh, I feel like people have this, this idea of what a disciple is. They, they think, oh, you know, it means it means this or it means this, but the way you just simplified it, I mean, it makes it so much more, so much more accessible. And yet the challenge is there. Like, can you articulate what God has done for you?

And if you can, why are you not doing that? Yeah. Or so often you see people who are like, okay, I'm just a regular Christian. And then these are the special Christians who like they witness and they disciple.

But that call, like you said, is just, we're just supposed to tell what we've seen. And if we've truly been saved and we've truly have seen the gospel work in our lives, it's not that hard just to talk about it. Yeah.

Right. It's, and the key word there is what you brought up there, David, is the word gospel. You know, what is the gospel? You know, the Bible talks about the gospel. You know, the gospel is about Jesus came, died, buried, rose again, as prophesied, and he was seen by many. That is bottom line, the gospel, you know? And so when you give your testimony, that should come up. If all that comes up is, man, I love Jesus because I'm a better man today.

I hear what you're saying, but what made you the better man? Man, I love Jesus today. Cause he, you know, I have so much meaning in my life. What is the meaning? If the meaning does not begin with my sins are forgiven, eternity is in my heart and now God is with me. I'm not just, you know, ruling about in this life, but God is with me, guiding me. That's the gospel. So witnesses, but then accountability, W-A-T-E-R-A stands for accountability, where Jesus, if you remember, every time he sent his disciples away, which is not tons of times, we find it in Mark chapter six and then Luke chapter 10, it's always two by two.

Hmm. That's a, I hadn't thought about that. You know, and even in the book of Acts, you see in Acts chapter three, verse one, now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer. Later on Acts 13, it's now separate to me, Barnabas and Saul for the work for which I have called them. Always two.

Why two? Because there's a sense of accountability. Is it accountability is not about being controlled by someone or have to tell everybody, somebody, everything that's going on in your life. No, accountability is, is more, it has a sense of support, has a sense of watchfulness.

Somebody's watching my back. You know, Solomon talks about this in Ecclesiastes chapter four verse nine. He says, two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion, but woe to him who is alone when he falls for he has no one to help him. And then verse 12, a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

So accountability is a must. So when you, if you, if you are a believer and you say, Oh, I'm a believer, are you a disciple? Oh yeah, I'm a disciple.

I study God's word all the time. Who are you accountable to? Who is that person in your life who looks at you and said, Hey, what's going on with you? Why are you acting this way? Why are you doing this?

Why are you doing that? If you have nobody, then you're not a disciple. You're a believer.

Praise God. Not a disciple because a disciple will have someone with him just like a law enforcement or a military person, right? A military person. How do I know they're they're military is because they have something with them. It's like a weapon.

It's like a shield that protects them. That gives them something to fight back, right? If you, if somebody is a military and I'm, I'm in a bad situation and they're coming to rescue me, but they have nothing with them, right? Or law enforcement, right? What we're doing in our world today with law enforcement, constantly talking about defunding and all that. But if law enforcement just shows up with words and the other guy, the bad guy has guns, right? That's not gonna, that's not a law enforcement. He may have a title.

He may even have a job and a paycheck, but he can't help me. That's enthusiastic law observer. I don't know what you call it. Yeah.

That's not good enough for me. For me, a true law enforcement is somebody who can overpower the bad person. So also you may be a believer, but a disciple is someone who has somebody backing him up so he can overpower the enemy. And I liked the way you said that when you brought in that, that military imagery, because even in the military, they're trained to like not leave and go like outside of this certain area without their battle buddy, without somebody that's with them. So it's still, I mean, even in that world that, that imagery applies.

So how much more would it be for us? Because we're, I mean, we're at war, we're in spiritual warfare. I think that's, that's pretty cool. How do you, how do you, how do you find those people? If people are listening or watching and they're like, Hey, I recognize that I need that, but I don't have anybody like that in my life right now. I would say prayer.

That's how God sent godly people to keep me accountable in my life. It may be your spouse, it may be your husband or wife. That's great. But typically somebody from the outside of the same sex.

Okay. That's very important to me. So men, sorry, you cannot have a woman keeping you accountable other than your own wife or maybe your sister and your mother, you know, but you cannot be like, Oh, there's some woman at work or somebody at church. No, no, no, unless you're married.

If you're not married then you know, you need to be careful as well. So prayer is the key that God will show you someone in your life and say, that's the person right there. They're not going to try to control you or manipulate you, but they will try to help you become sharp and aware of what the enemy is doing and stay true to God. But then it kind of ties in with the third one, which is togetherness, which is in Jesus's earthly ministry. If you remember, there were three groups of people, kind of concentric circles.

There was the crowd, right? The vast majority who were not really following Jesus, but they were just there. Then there was this congregation kind of a second concentric circle. These were the multitudes.

We talked about them this past weekend. Some of them were physically sick, but many were emotionally and mentally and spiritually sick, but they were following Jesus because they needed him to help them, not only heal them, but also teach them. But inside that concentric circle is a third one, which is community. And this one from crowd congregation community is where you see the 12 disciples of Jesus.

He had tons of people following him, but he picked those 12. Inside the community is the inner circle. In the inner circle is only who? Three people. Who were the three who always went with him, like at the Mount of Transfiguration, the Garden of Gethsemane and all that. Peter, James and John.

That's it. So the question for all of us is which group do you belong to? Are you just a crowd?

People out in our neighborhood? Are you a congregation? Just a Saturday evening, a Sunday morning worshipper? Are you a community, which is you attend Sunday school and Wednesday night Bible study? But inner circle is when you get into a small group, an accountability group where you and again, gender specific, so you can talk to each other and not necessarily ask the hard questions like, hey, what do you look now? It's just a sense of camaraderie, prayerfulness. And then, of course, yes, if I have to see those guys again every week, I would be less likely to fool around because I have to look them in the eye and tell them hey, yes, I've been following Jesus Christ. No, I've not looked at pornography.

No, I've not messed up. So inner circle is the thing. So just use Jesus's ministry as a pattern and you'll see from crowd, congregation, community, inner circle. I love that it kind of takes that natural progression too. We start with like witnesses and then you go to accountability and the accountability is fleshed out in the togetherness that we have, that we share in those concentric circles.

What does the E stand for? He is established in the word. So here, you know, if you are just a great guy, loves Jesus, always sharing the gospel, man, you are connected to people, you love getting in the small groups and it's great, you know, you are, but wait, how about the word of God?

How much is the Bible a central part of your life? If it's not, then you're not a disciple because Jesus himself talked about all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, son of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. Where do you find the teaching? It's in his word, the Bible, old and new Testament.

And then the last one R is reproducing, which is very important. You know, we want people to get saved, right? We want people to come to church and invite their friends. How about focusing on making them disciples and they will bring other people, they will multiply.

What a great benchmark for us too. If you guys enjoyed today's topic, you have suggestions for future topics, let us know by sending us a text at 252-582-5028. You can also visit us online at and you can support us on that very same website. We're grateful to all of you for your gifts, for supporting us financially, for partnering with us as we seek to make disciples.

That's what, that's the whole goal of Cleveland Today, that we would be engaged in that process of making disciples and of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dr. Shaw, the question for today comes from Elizabeth R. Oh, actually I'm sorry. No, it's the question. I was going to bring it up. Yeah, yeah.

Go for it. Cause this is not, this is actually for me. Elizabeth R asks, Ryan, what was your favorite elective in high school? And I can already answer. I already think I know.

It's probably not what you think it is. It was forensic science. It was, it was so enjoyable.

CSI. It was so enjoyable that, uh, I mean, I, I aced that class, but not because the work was easy, just because it was so much fun. We had the greatest teacher.

She would set up like crime scenes for us to actually go and dust for fingerprints and investigate. It was so much fun. Elizabeth took that class. I took that class. A bunch of our friends took it.

It was, it was a ton of fun, but yes, theater would be the, would be the top of the list. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clearview today. Bye. you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-12 11:02:08 / 2023-01-12 11:14:55 / 13

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