Hard core community


For all the talk I see about community it sure seems to be an elsuive idea. I have tasted and seen kingdom based community for my own eyes, and I’ve seen people get excited and the idea never materialize. If we are going to be intentional with our lives then I propose we be intentional with our community.

Community is not simply saying hi to our neighbors a few times a week, nor is it an exclusive club of Christians gathering from time to time to just hang out, talk a little, and go about their lives. Community needs to be about the society and culture we live in, and have kingdom influence. How? By first observing the world around us, seeing the needs of those around us that we know God can meet, and seeking his will about how we as believers can meet those needs. Second, loving the community for who they are, living in their midsts and intentionally be God’s hand and feet through simple offers of compassion and benevolence. Thirdly, offering God’s truth in all things, speaking his life giving grace, peace, hope, and love into the community around us.

Sounds all nice and neat, doesn’t it? Well it’s not, the reality is that this takes a grand amount of patience and labor. In my own observance, many people are not willing to sacrifice and suffer their time and money unless they “know” for sure there will be fruit (aka a return on their investment).
I challenege this school of thought, not so that we waste our resources but that we actually be wise in God’s way and take his risks to heart. His ways are higher than ours, and he wins our battles. The victory is already his! I am willing to say (through experience) that stepping out into the unknown to touch the lives of those around you, weather they are people you know or not, will always produce fruit. It may or may not be tangible, and that’s where we begin to doubt.

Community will look different from place to place, but it will always include sacrificial love and truth. I really wish we weren’t all locked up in our detached homes, fenced off from the world, because if we lived lives where we had to cross paths with “the others” we might just see God do something! We might actually hear his voice prompt us to be community. We must surrender all of that to God, and continue on, good and faithful servant.

Questions and things that bother me

I’m hoping to motivate some thoughts in my mind for future blog posts…   So the following is a list of questions and things that bother me in some way or another.

  • Disunity in the Church
  • Misinformation in the Church
  • Is that Christian or just religion?
  • The above caused by poor communication
  • The above caused by assumptions
  • Relationship or religion?
  • People not willing to reconcile relationships
  • People stuck in poor relationships
  • Self-focused churches
  • Grace forgotten
  • Truth forgotten
  • When fear drives decisions
  • When God is not saught in decisions
  • Would Jesus really do that?
  • When people seem to think they are entitled to something
  • When Jesus’ follwers forgot to operate in the Kingdom
  • When Jesus’ people operate as the world does

Got grace or just truth?

Telling the truth about God, life, people, or just about anything, is very hard to do in a graceful way, in a way that keeps the truth of God’s character intact. I hear peers today so concerned by the church’s image, afraid to use words like “saved” and “blessing”. While I admit those words have made me cringe as well, I have also realized that people not in the know, really aren’t offended by these words, instead, my observation from co-workers have been simple questions, like “what do you mean by saved” – which opens a door.

What I’m getting at is, yes we need to communicate in a way that the most people can understand, yet we must also remember that God’s character is the most important thing to communicate. If we communicate that God is anything but what he tells us in the Bible, than we’re failing. So in our attemp to communicate on issues of homosexuality, politics, war, etc, in a graceful way, we must not leave out crucial truths, and in our attempts to communicate his truth we must not use shame.