The Phil Files

Musings & messages on everyday worship, Jesus, and the stuff of life.

Community

with 2 comments

Jesus built community. He wasn’t about building a movement or a religion or a collection of individuals, but the Lord focused His efforts on building a new kind of community. The two key terms are kingdom and family. The first is the place where people’s hearts and lives are surrendered to the will of God and are working to see that lived out in their daily lives. The second is a place where people view each other as brothers and sisters because God is their Father.

We are reminded of both in the Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

For yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.

Great power is found in this family, this Kingdom where God’s character and compassion are seen. So in His ministry, Jesus was always trying to connect this new community with those who were outside it. Jesus was always working to bring outsiders into relationship with insiders. So Jesus shares meals with outsiders like Matthew and Zacchaeus. Jesus goes places, but always with His Kingdom family in tow. Life as a follower of Jesus was not lived in isolation. Much of the teaching of Jesus was done in and around the reality of human relationships in a family, a community. (For more on this, see my Heartlight.org article this week, For Insiders or Outsiders?

So how do we experience this kingdom family today?

How do we become the community of Christ today and then connect our friends with our community so they can experience the transformation of God’s power and grace in relationships with others following Jesus?

How could connecting your friends with Jesus’ community, His family, help you lead them to Jesus? How could it get in the way?

Can a follower of Jesus live in isolation, outside the influence of a community of other believers?

Does Jesus’ community exist for outsiders or insiders?

Can it function with both of these as a primary focus?

I encourage you to pray about and reflect upon these questions and then look at the people in your life — the circles of relationships into which God has purposefully placed you. Now, how are you going to connect those people to your spiritual family? How are you going to connect them to Jesus?

Here are two videos for you to reflect upon. They come from Worship House Media.

The first video is entitled simply, Community:

The second video is entitled, I Am Community:

Written by phil

September 9th, 2009 at 11:14 pm

2 Responses to 'Community'

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  1. I like the second video better. I don\’t really like to word \"community.\" It sounds too distant. I like the word family much better. Growing up my family was broken. My parents divorced when I was 10. The church has ALWAYS been my family since I was torn not only from my parents, but by extension my extended family. I have always felt no matter where I go, the church is my extended family; the congregation at home is my immediate family. I feel at home wherever I go!

    We discussed this idea in our ladies\’ class last week. One of our women had to have a little toe amputated due to diabetes. I mentioned that she would give anything to have her little toe back, would have done anything to prevent losing that toe if she could. It\’s just a little toe; but it is part of her. That is why Christ called us His \"body.\" He wants us to feel about each other the way Cynthia feels about her little toe. Even one who does not \"seem important\" IS important because he/she is one of us! Christ wants us to have that intensity of caring for one another.

    Linda Hoeck

    10 Sep 09 at 7:47 am

  2. this post and worlds apart.
    i think it is kind of interesting that as a single adult i have found it hard to connect with the “singles group” at my church and as a 40 something the “median adults” group has been just as odd.
    where i have connected most in my world- in church, with a group that prays for our church ministries every Wed nite. some folks in their 70’s some like me in the middle of life and a couple yonger.

    the second conection group- byciclist- i love this group because when everyone is wearing spandex shorts and crazy colorful jerseys there is no way of telling the Doctor, lawyer, stdent, single parent etc. we are all just people who love riding and enjoy fellowship, sadly this feels more like church to me than church, old and young alike moving in the same direction with basically the same goals, differnt levels of skill, differnt ages, backgrounds etc. unfortunately the goal is usually a donut and and a little socializing. Not Christ, not making the world a better place but everyone is welcomed and has a good time.

    of course i am blessed to have a small core of friends who are believers, our commonality however came from a place of ministry, again, not in my church.

    My church is a great place don’t get me wrong, i just don’t know how come it’s so hard for me to connect on a deeper level.

    perplexed

    Sherry

    10 Sep 09 at 9:00 am

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