Church is Better Together: What We Believe Part 2
There are some things that are better alone. There’s a reason that lots of people sing at the top of their lungs in the car, but turn white as a ghost if asked to sing on stage. Likewise, going grocery shopping is better when we are on our own and don’t have 3 kids in tow. Even the most extroverted among us need some alone time. That being said, there are some things that are designed to be done with others.
At aware3, we have 3 core beliefs that shape and give definition to why we do what we do. This three-part series is a glimpse behind the curtain at these core beliefs. In part 1 we looked at our belief that church is more than a building. Our second belief is that Church is better together. We will look at 5 factors of why we think church is better together.
We are communal beings
You know that story about the storks dropping you off to your parents? Spoiler alert! It isn’t true. God could have made it so, but instead, he created this system with parents and children and even hard-wired us to bond with one another. There is something communal about the heart of God. In fact, Christ demonstrates the importance of union in the last supper by sharing the first communion with his followers. In our culture, we tend to celebrate the individual and focus on the personal nature of our relationship with Jesus. There is great truth and power in this, but let’s be clear, Jesus didn’t come to die on the cross for you. He did this for ALL. John 3:16 reads “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.” NASB.
The sum is greater than the parts
Each person is created with our own set of gifts and talents. Additionally, each of us has our unique weaknesses and struggles. We all know the verse about iron sharpening iron. Together our strengths are reinforced and our weaknesses are augmented. This isn’t simple math. Being together creates a synergy that goes beyond interpersonal dynamics and is something that can only be attributed to the Holy Spirit. By surrounding ourselves with others striving for a shared goal of becoming more like Christ, we are encouraged to be better ourselves.
We need divergent views
Remember that scene in the Matrix where Neo learns how to fly a helicopter in 2 seconds? Discipleship doesn’t work that way. As people of ‘The Way,’ we are constantly in the process of becoming. If you think you have arrived, you are mistaken. There is a richness of faith that can only come from time and experiencing the the breadth and depth of our father. There is no substitute for experience. And, some of the best experiences we can have come from refining our understanding of how to ‘work out our faith’ alongside others that don’t see things exactly as we do.
A person is not a movement
The Gospel story is the movement of God among a lost people. Each of us gets the privilege of playing a role in the expansive narrative. If we reduce the gospel down to something just between ourselves and God, we do it a great disservice. In fact, we cut at the heart of the gospel that is intrinsically reproductive in nature. Christ set our faith up as the great contagion. As one person become affected by the truth and power of the spirit, we can’t help spreading what we have caught with those around us. Jesus is the best cold you will ever catch. This means that together we have more power and impact than we do alone. By locking our arms with each other, we become part of the movement that has been playing out from the beginning of time.
Look at the birds
Jesus shared in Luke 9:58 that “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Following Jesus is not a part time gig. This isn’t something that we can do halfway. That doesn’t mean that God wants us to burn out. Have you ever considered why birds migrate south in these great flying wedges across the sky? The lead bird carries the burden of cutting the path taking on the most drag and resistance. While flying vast distances, no one bird leads the pack the entire time. As the lead bird drops back, they can draft off of the stream that is cut by the other birds that are now leading the way. Instinctively, our feathered friends know that no one person should lead the charge for too long. The burden is too great. Instead, they give each other a break. Likewise, we must create natural rhythms of activity and rest.
Creating community is hard work. How are you intentionally drawing people into relationship with each other?