In the video at the bottom of this post, I offer further thoughts about confession and how personal spaces are the best venues for sharing our true (i.e. full) selves with one another. Confession isn't just about sharing our struggles and sins, it's about being open and honest with one another, letting people in on the life and story God has been forming in us.
We need to be honest. This is not likely to happen in larger settings, like a Sunday morning. Think about how each activity in the church really serves to build up three general spaces.
This is what we have posted about different "spaces" here on our site:
Our church services are a public space for participating and experiencing corporate worship and preaching from the Scriptures. A few personal space opportunities would be Sunday School, Bible studies, and/or joining a small group near you. And you can invest in an intimate space by being a part of a Life Transformation Group---a same gender group of 3-4 people meant for discipleship and accountability.
I want to be clear that what we do in each setting is an important part of community, but the public space alone is by its nature not conducive for "confession" and life-sharing in the way that personal spaces and intimate spaces allow for as a church on mission with Jesus.
It's highly possible that our greatest temptation as Christians living in Western culture today is to press church life into public services and other events, activities that can do a lot of good, but don't allow us to go deeper with Christ and each other. Then we're only scratching the surface.
Remember, Jesus started the church with a small group of 12 men and their families. Jesus was in a small group himself. So, I'm convinced of this: the church will only be as strong as the relationships being formed in personal spaces, where we are open and honest about our life and journey together.
Thanks for listening. Prayerfully consider how God might want you to respond.
Are you in a small group? Do you meet regularly? Are you making time to go deeper with others in a personal space at our church? Experience the difference it makes today.