• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Community can happen in a weekend

I just spent the past weekend with a dozen other cross cultural workers and leaders.  They came from all over the globe and are engaged in a variety of ministries.  We ‘thought’ the common denominator was that we all have the same executive coach.community Very quickly, we realized that the same common denominator was (and is) the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sounds obvious, you might say.   However, that common denominator allowed us to rather quickly build community between us.

Author Scott Peck in his book, A Different Drum, argues that community is built in a variety of ways, but that it is not always a function of time. This weekend brought that insight home.

There was nothing ‘fancy’ or complex about how we spent our time together. The first night, we shared with one another our background and family.  The next two days, we each presented our ministries, beginning with a Bible verse that has been meaningful to us.  No big Bible exposition.  The next person presenting prayed for the person who had just presented.  The last night, we shared what are ways to thrive (not survive) in ministry.  There was plenty of discussion around the meal tables as well as when we walked through the city.

The last night, one of the youngest among us said that she was amazed at how quickly she felt ‘at home’ to be able to share her heart; there was ‘safety’ in this community.  People understood the world she lived in and could spoke honestly to her.

We all need community.  One of the elements of our WT Ministry Framework is growing in community.  That community can take many forms and happen in different ‘time frames’.

Let us not shy away from community because it takes time, because it makes us vulnerable to others.  It took ‘time’ to participate in this retreat; not in terms of quantity, but in terms of choosing to spend my time differently than I might have this past weekend. Let us grow continually in community because the fruit will be evident in how we thrive in ministry, how we grow in resiliency.

2 Responses

  1. I have been studying Ephesians again; writing a little book in Indonesian for Papua. Once again, I am impressed by the recurring keynote “in Christ” and some times “together with Christ”. Then quite unexpectedly Paul prays that “Christ may dwell in our hearts”, which reminds me of John 15 and Colossians 1:27.

    This emerges from the teaching about the “one new man” in Ephesians 2, and our life together in unity and community in chapter 4. In our individualistic western societies, we have lost track of life in community, and as Christ followers we do despite to his grace when we become careless of this great work of grace and allow petty things to divide us by bad mouthing, toxic gossip, giving and taking offence at some insignificant slight, and by every form of self-justifying anger.

    We must guard the unity of the spirit, and not allow walls of any kind to break or disrupt community. As Paul brackets his message in Ephesians 4, forbear and forgive.

    • That grace of God is not only our ‘entrance’ into community, but by holding on to it strongly we ‘guard’ and maintain that community.

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