God loves to get things done through people. We often want spiritual growth to fall out of the sky but, more often, God’s preferred delivery method is the community of faith around us. I know that is a bummer for some of us… we wish we could sail off to “(fill in your name) Island” and commune with our maker one on one. The Bible won’t allow it. Coming to our heavenly Father means receiving the rest of his family as well, as our brothers and sisters.
As we receive our new family, we will learn that they are a gift to us. Through people God loves us, encourages us, teaches us, corrects us, strengthens us, gives us a sense of belonging, and on and on. And through us, God accomplishes these same things in the lives of those around us.
Fear often keeps us from community. We fear we’ll get trapped in someone’s problems (we’ve got enough of our own). We fear we’ll get let down (again!). Or snubbed. We fear that when people find out who we really are, they’ll want to flee. The truth is that all these things are possible. Relationships are messy. And so, taking that step to join a Home Group or call a friend or be there for someone else is ultimately a step of faith. We trust not that the community will be perfect, but that the God who builds it will be faithful, whatever we encounter. It is in the messiness that God’s best work is often done.
Renovation of the Heart, by Dallas Willard (chapter 10)
Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them, John Ortberg
Link to sermons on community
Join a Home Group or find some friends, take the inventory and help each other grow.