Imagine if we as a community saw the opportunity we have in our local towns and neighborhoods to connect and show God’s compassion. If we truly saw the opportunity for what it is, we would daily see a very simple definition of calling for us to make disciples actually being very achievable. I’ve intentionally begun listening to people I encounter around our county and praying gently as we interact that I would see how God has equipped the person I am talking with for a unique role of ministry in his or her extra-local local community. We all have callings at various levels of influence. Some have a very broad reach, but we all are given the opportunity to know a few people really well and enjoy community with them. From that place of healthy community life, we discover people who it seems God is making ripe for inclusion into this community life.
There is a power in waiting on the Lord in this and trusting His perfect understanding (Isaiah 40). This morning I have simply been resting in the reality that God is the perfect relationship manager. He introduces us to each other with His sovereign and mysterious excellence and coordinates our interests and notives to work His redemptive purposes. Our opportunity is to simply show grace and kindness and to speak joyfully of God’s work in our lives as relationships form naturally and sometimes more quickly than we could have initiated ourselves.
My encouragement to us as a community is to look for where the doors are wide open for you to grow in a healthy Christian community. Get involved and then introduce those you meet each week to some of your Godward friends, those you trust and know want to show God’s love with no strings attached. As we have meals with one another and those each of us are encountering in our weeks are being included into our community life, we experience the joys of extra-local ministry.
May this kind of community life in time build the existing local churches with Godward individuals and families all oriented around knowing Christ and making Him known.
In the short-term there is likely to be some growing pain from each community group so-to-speak not being comprised from members/attendees of the same official local church, but as we learn to do this well, we can’t help but to see the overall health of the local church as a whole in our community growing.
In His joy,
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