When asking some larger questions about life, what are the big ones for you? I have been asking what is it I was created for, what is my life supposed to be about, etc. I have decided its supposed to be about fulfilling my created purpose, the purpose God has declared for my life! But I want to be careful to not look to the hills when it comes to my created purpose. In other words, there are indeed some larger reasons God created me and you, but I want to make sure I don’t miss some of the smaller reasons as well. Some of the reasons we were created are more about our natural DNA and make-up as humans and can’t be fulfilled by simply saying, I was created to glorify God! But within the larger reasons, I believe there are many little things we are created for that fulfill ALL of the larger reasons you and I can come up with! So lets talk about one of the smaller, but equally important reasons we often overlook!
You and I were no doubt made for community, and we are fully alive when living in real authentic community. Its been proven that people who live without community end up living a life less desirable than those who do… no matter what the community is! But I want to look at how this affects evangelism.
I believe community is one of the main reasons people don’t leave their “lifestyle” to follow after Jesus. When I’ve talked with people who are seeking something different in their life, and realize that Jesus might be that something… they find it hard to make the leap for a number of reasons, and community is high on that list. They don’t have a good image of the church, and they certainly don’t think they are going to find the community they have in the world… in the church! The church (if your a Christian that means you) has an image problem, and it’s this generation of the believers job to bring some healing to this mis-conception of what followers of Jesus are like! Read They like Jesus, but Hate The Church, or UnChristian if you Don’t believe me… we have an image problem, but there is hope for the church : )
Often Christians will fault seekers for this, but they are just living in the way God created them!
Adam was created first, and God said its not good for man to be alone… and then He created Eve. Most people point to the fact that Eve was a female (and we all know men can’t live without the women) and became Adam’s companion, and this is the aloneness God was talking about… but I think its worth considering and discussing that maybe God was saying its not good for man to be (to live) alone. The Hebrew word ezer which is translated “helper” in Hebrew actually gives the idea, one who does for us what we can’t do for ourselves, or one who supports us in our task of doing the will of God! Adam couldn’t fulfill his created purpose of living in community alone, so God made Eve to provide… community! Sure she also provided the womb and egg for procreation, and I do believe this is part of what God was speaking of, but I also believe that IF Adam had been created with self-procreation abilities Eve was still necessary for community.
This leaves the people of the church with HUGE responsibilities. We get so locked in and caught up with our own lives that can be difficult to manage at times. Leaders in the church get tangled up in making Sundays and the other programs that we create happen… we often leave little room for our people to build real community in their lives so they can live out their created purpose, and more importantly so they can make room for the people standing on the outside looking in, wondering if there is a place for them in our communities! So I’m challenging myself and those who visit this blog, to make room for real, authentic… community. Not just because you NEED it, but because EVERYONE needs it! Especially those you have been praying for to leave their way, and begin to follow Jesus and accept HIS way!
May we all have enough margin in our lives for real community, and may we all intentionally make space for the outsiders looking in, and insure them that there is room at our tables and in our communities for them!