stevengworld

Thanksgiving Thoughts Pt 2 | November 26, 2015

Christianity is a community of likeminded people who are experiencing different things but meant to share them together.

How about that for a thanksgiving thought! I’m very thankful for the Church. I’m thankful for the many spiritual siblings that have poured into me over the years through preaching, teaching, and giving great counsel and examples to follow. But here’s what I think is highly overlooked in all of those settings – you’re nobody ’til somebody knows you.

Yes I just used a Notorious B.I.G. quote! Yes I meant to. Yes it applies. And yes I think you should understand why.

We each individually are no one to the visible kingdom of God, namely the local church, until we are known by God in a salvific way. Meaning that until we experience salvation, we are but enemies of God set to experience the wrath of God. Big picture meaning is that we get into the kingdom by ourselves, and we have to walk it out by ourselves. Not only do we have to live out our faith by ourselves, we have to give an account to God for how we lived by ourselves.

Why mention this? Because it seems that the trending theme of community has overshadowed the importance of self. No, I’m not calling for self to be proclaimed over community, but right next to it. In other words, if community is the theme local churches aim for through their preaching and practical structuring over and above the health of the individual, churches are destined to have unhealthy churches at its core while patting itself on the back for having community structures.

So if community groups is a big part of your church, do know that it’s possible to have several individuals in those groups more than struggling in their personal walk. It’s equivalent to having a 500 member church or more. It becomes easier to hide.

Now I know someone reading this is mentally objecting with the sentiment, oh that’s why we have discipleship groups or fight clubs. But allow me to speak to something there. Those groups are typically aimed at confessing sin. Make no mistake, that is HUGE. But that cannot signify health of that individual believer. It doesn’t mean they are actively believing in the authority of the Word in their lives. It doesn’t mean they are actively believing in obeying the Word in their living. It doesn’t mean they are actively believing in growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus and his revealed will in the text.

And believe you me when I say it’s more comfortable for believers to join a small group that meets Sunday mornings in a room or Tuesday nights at someone’s house without believing those three things. For if one grows cold in their walk and trust in God, their presence with other believers can be a changing deterrent, but can also be another man-made curtain erected unconsciously for believers to continue ‘frontin as Lecrae said.

So let us in all formats set community alongside self-discipline. Let’s be honest about all the blind spots in our personal walks so we can point those out before others, letting them know they ought to confess their blind spots while being mindful that those areas will be called out for the health of the individual so that the community of believers can be healthy. For it’s impossible to have unity and growth in a place where discord goes unchecked.

Much love and grace to all reading this. Be encouraged. Be unashamed.

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