We are nearing the end of the “Sojourn Values” series of posts. As a reminder, we want these values to be more than just individual commitments or just official church commitments. We want these to impact us both individually and corporately. Today, I want to share a value that is often misunderstood or severely truncated in the minds and lives of many Christians.
We, as a church, openly acknowledge that we need each other. What God has been cultivating at our Sunday Worship Gatherings is amazing, but it is not enough.
We believe that the gospel is a message. There is content to the gospel. It is the good news about Jesus that He came to save you and bring you to God. That is such good news, but that is not the whole story. You are not the only one Jesus came to save and you are not the only one that Jesus will bring to God. Jesus came to save a “people” (1 Peter 2:10). Paul tells us that we are all parts of one body with each having a very important role to play (1 Cor. 12:12-27). God is definitely saving individuals, but He is saving them into a family. The message of the Bible is that Christians best reflect God’s glory when united and connected. The writer of Hebrews tells us that real spiritual growth is rooted in heart engagement and accountability with other Christians (Heb. 3:12-13, 10:19-25). Sunday Worship Gatherings are a desperate need in the life of Christian, but they are not designed to share our lives with each other. We need a more intimate context for that. We need discipling relationships and we need a Community Group made up of fellow Sojourners who are eager to see the gospel change everything.
Let me offer one more idea. Peter says Christians are a “building” (1 Peter 2:5). Have you ever built a brick or stone wall? Do you know the idea is that one is built on top of the last one? If one falls out, the wall falls apart. Are you living your life in a way that is so engaged with your spiritual family that if you were to pull out the wall would start to fall apart? See, God invites us into a real relationship with Him AND a real relationship with other Christians. We are often content to just know each other’s names, careers and kids, but God calls us to something far greater. He calls us to community that: integrates lives; knows each other’s struggles; spends time together praying, studying, rejoicing, serving, worshiping and playing; is authentic and accountable; is accepting and welcoming; is prayerful and Spirit-filled.
We want to be a church that embraces community built around the gospel (Acts 2:42-47; Romans 15:7).