Core Value #4 Community
I just finished an amazing book by Drew Hunter titled, “Made for Friendship.” Hunter explains how our relationship with God and others “halves our sorrows and doubles our joys.” Solomon makes a similar point, saying, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
I firmly believe no one should go through life without a friend to lift them up, especially if they are a member of a local church.
We all need counseling from the cross.
Why? Because the local church is a family of friends sought by grace. That’s right. I said, “family of friends.” This is a fitting word picture to describe who we are as members of the body of Christ.
As we learned last Sunday, God befriends us so we can befriend others in accountable friendships which are volitional, vulnerable, and virtuous.
Core Value #4 Community means “we will seek the best interests of God and others within our family of friends.”
Whenever we drink from the fountain of grace, we naturally become a community that “considers others more important than themselves” (Phil 2:4). This mindset brings joy and glory to the triune God. By His grace, we no longer pant and sweat on the treadmill of life as we build our personal kingdoms while neglecting the kingdom of God.
In fact, kingdom kids do not fear image bearers who are within or outside the four walls of SV. We are citizens of heaven who desire gospel impact on earth. But, we will never advance the gospel here, near, and far without adopting the mindset of Christ who became a servant of all.
Take, for example, the Christmas tree fellowship provides an opportunity for us to extend friendship to people in Hardin County and beyond. Last Sunday, there was a first-time guest who heard the call for volunteers who were willing to fluff and place ornaments on the branches. He came to serve and enjoy community with new friends. Thank God for all of you who volunteered your time and talents!
As a family of friends, let’s lean on the Holy Spirit with our entire being so God alone will receive glory when He begins to change the stories of so many people who are longing for spiritual friendship—community.
Let’s consider these soul care questions as we prepare our hearts for the gathering:
- Are you walking in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ?
- What does true freedom in Christ mean?
- Do you believe that every member of SV has the potential to become your friend on some level? Why or why not?
- What are the characteristics of a healthy community?
- Do you desire to put others first and yourself last? If so, how will you apply this principle this week?
Let’s thank God that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our faith. We are secure in Him. He is the rock that builds true community. Let us build this “family of friends” together as we “grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and to eternity.”
I can hardly wait to experience community and friendship with you this Lord’s Day. God is doing great things in our midst. God bless you.