The Power of Community

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 says:  “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” As a community, we are the Body of Christ, uniquely wired and designed with different gifts to be used in conjunction with one another for the glory of God.  Community is a beautiful thing.  It is a vehicle of God’s grace that allows each member to share in brokenness but also lavish in forgiveness and love.  As a community, we bear one another’s burdens, we serve one another, and we enjoy the fruit of the Gospel together.

Since the beginning of the By Name Initiative, I thought the weight of sharing the Gospel with my friend rested solely upon myself.  It was not until I invited him into a community of believers that I realized the role other members can play in his potential salvation.  Invitation is powerful, and while we are inviting our friends, family members, and coworkers to enter into a relationship with God, maybe it simply begins with the invitation to community – a group of messed up people being liberated by a gracious and loving God.  This past weekend, as I continued to worry about saying the right thing at the right time, I noticed an opportunity.  It was not planned nor was it expected, but sure enough, the Gospel was being boldly proclaimed to my friend by someone else.

Some of us are wary of evangelism; others are built for it; and the rest will stand at the ready to reinforce and answer the inevitable questions that hopefully erupt.  “Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” – Ephesians 4:15-16.  This is the beauty of community: Christ.  It is God who intervenes.  It is God who lifts the veil and exposes sin.  It is God who saves.  His scope is far beyond ours, and while things may not unravel the way we expect, we should trust that He is and always will be moving.