Community is essential

August 15, 2013

I’m one of those guys who thinks I can do things on my own.  I’ve never been much for working in groups. Mostly that’s because I always seemed to get stuck in a group with kids who didn’t want to work……and I liked good grades.

Or when I start something new, sometimes I don’t like to tell people. I don’t want them finding out until I’m perfect at it. I’m finding, though, not telling anyone sets me up for failure though. I have no accountability, no strength to keep myself going when my activity gets difficult.

However, when I tell others, I’m more likely to keep going. They help me to push forward when the initial excitement is over.

My success rate is even higher when I find someone to start with me.

I think this is true for all of us. We were made for community. We need other people. Some of us need more people than others, but all of us need at least one person in our lives to help push us forward. 

We desire companionship with others, a friend to lean on and go through life experiences with. It is a wonderful thing to find that companion.

We really do succeed more with others. 

This is one reason I don’t understand why people decide to not be a part of the church. 

“I’m a Christian but I hate the church and I don’t need it.” But the church is a community of people all trying to live this Christian life together. 

Yes, it’s true the people in the church are flawed. It’s true some churches do a better job than others at living out the Christian life. But we shouldn’t be so quick to write them all off.

When we find that group of people who will build us up to keep pressing forward to the prize that God has promised for a faithful life in Christ, it is the find of a lifetime!

Community is a part of who God is: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Why would we even want to go through life alone? Why would we want to live out our faith separately from the body of Christ?

Get plugged in somewhere. If you are starting a new activity, clue someone in to help you along the way, someone you can trust to push you when you don’t want to be pushed. 

If you are a Christian, find a community of believers. Help each others live out your faith. It is a lot easier to do this with others to help you along.

On Sunday night the teens that went to CIY had the opportunity to get up in front of the church and share about the week. It’s really cool being a part of a church that cares about the teens.

I was able to get up and share a little about CIY and the different ministries they perform. If you are hearing about them for the first time click here and you can head over to their webpage. Then the floor was open to each of the teens to talk about their week and we opened it up for the adults to ask questions.

The part of the trip everyone was most interested in were the Kingdom Worker cars.

CIY has a passion to help young people grow in their walk with Christ. They desire to see life change happen, not just at their events but long after each of the kids have left the conference. They encourage everyone to take steps to advance the Kingdom of God.

One way they get the ball rolling is by giving everyone a Kingdom Worker Card. This card comes sealed in an envelope. On it, is some way the teens will be challenged to trust God and advance His Kingdom. The teens know if they open the card, they are committing to doing whatever is inside.

Want to know what was on the cards that have been opened so far by our group?

Read 1 chapter from Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John everyday for the next school year.

Adopt a widow or widower from the church to invite over for holiday meals for the next year.

Lead 4 lessons over the next year in youth group.

Tutor a group of Jr. High students in a subject or activity you are good at.

Raise $2,500 to help 10 non-churched friends to go to CIY next year.

Isn’t that incredible?! Each of these students has quite a challenge ahead of them. Each of these tasks will require commitment to complete, and each will have an impact on their lives as well as the lives of people around them.

They have decided to leave the pew sitting “Christianity” behind and trade it in for an active faith. They want to change the world for Christ.

One girl, before getting a card, told my wife she wants to raise $2,000 to Central India Christian Mission to help send a guy through Bible College so he can plant churches in India.

Another girl, before getting her card, said she wants to share her testimony with a group of people. She wants the opportunity to share about how Jesus has changed her! She knows it will be hard, and maybe even scary, but none-the-less wants to do it.

These teens are an inspiration, and they are everywhere across our country, and even the world! They are serious about their faith and want to reach others for Christ.

If that does not get you motivated, I don’t know what will.

Christ has called us to more than going to a 9-5 job, coming home and watching TV until it’s time to go to bed. He’s called us to more than just going to church on Sunday’s and maybe Wednesdays.

We are called “for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10b). We are called to trust in our creator and go into our world, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is amazing that these teens have the desire to make a difference. It’s not so they look amazing, or even because the tasks are all that glamorous, because in some cases they are not.

They want to do this work because they love God and have come to salvation and want to see the same change happen in others.

As an adult, that drives me to live out my faith a little more. If a teenager has the faith and courage to pursue a walk with Christ in his everyday life, what is stopping me?

Who can I share Jesus with today?

How can I serve someone?

What needs can I meet in the name of Christ?

What about you?

What can you do to make a difference for the Kingdom?

How can you be a Kingdom Worker?

I’ve been avoiding myself. I’m not even completely sure why. I have no idea what has been causing this illegitimate fear. I’ve been avoiding doing something that I absolutely love to do.

Writing.

I had this blog and was doing a great job at keeping it up. I worked hard to keep my ideas flowing and write (or type) them down as soon as I could so I wouldn’t forget them. I actually looked forward to sitting down at the computer and typing out my posts. It was one of my favorite activities.

I enjoyed it so much there were days I got up early just to do it!

Sometimes my posts could have been more thought out, or maybe some should have had better grammar, but I was working on the blog consistently. I was working hard at it and enjoying the challenge of putting out a new post 4 or 5 days a week.

Then I started missing days. I would miss one or two here and there, but then I started missing larger gaps. I guess some part of me was worried that if I tried to pick things back up people would think, “Oh boy, here he goes trying again. We can’t rely on him to keep this up.”

Another fear I had was people wouldn’t like what I typed. They would think it was stupid or just so basic there was really no point in reading the material. I let these fears keep me away from blogging at all.

But here I am, starting up once again. But this time is different. 

You see, Jon Acuff posted on his blog about starting an adventure, and I wanted in. So I emailed my information and have become a part of a Facebook group full of people who are just as excited as I am. We all have fears to “punch in the face.” We all have uncertainty and some of us are down right confused. 

But we all want to beat out average. We want to take some steps to flip the switch from average to awesome. That’s what the group is for. We are going to spend time over the next 24 days (starting July 15) encouraging and challenging each other to take risks. These risks will help us on our adventure to achieve goals that God has placed in our hearts. 

The first step for me, includes getting back to the blog. So although my mission doesn’t officially start up for another week, I’m getting started right now. I’m tired of pushing it off, and for me, it was time to get moving. 

I hope you find encouragement in my writing. I hope you feel motivated to move on and take that first step. 

I was terrified to send that first email to become a part of this Facebook group. I had no idea what was in store, but I knew I wanted to move towards living the awesome life God has in store. 

So there’s a little bit about my fear. There’s a little bit about this adventure I’m starting. And it’s all a little bit scattered and crazy (much like the thoughts running through my head).

But I’m off.

I’ve left the starting blocks. 

I’ve Started.