Three weeks ago I had a good screaming session with God. I wasn’t screaming at God. I was screaming in God’s presence. What was my screaming session about? It was about community.
I was frustrated.
I felt like I was doing Christian ministry alone.
I felt like no one understood or supported me in my attempting to serve God and His Kingdom.
I felt like even my close Christian friends were unaware or indifferent to what I was doing.
I felt alone, misunderstand, and taken for granted.
I felt like I didn’t have good Christian community.
That screaming session was my attempt to take all that angst and frustration before God, to see what He would do with me in this sorry state.
The first benefit of prayer is simply being heard by God and knowing that He will act, even if nothing happens right away.
Through the following week God began dealing with my heart, my frustration and my desire for community.
The first thing God showed me was that I was the most to blame for my lack of community.
I wasn’t looking for Christian support in my personal journey of spiritual growth. I was looking for Christians to support me in the work God has called me to. I didn’t just want community. I wanted community build around serving God. I began to realize that I didn’t have that because I hadn’t pursued it. What I had pursued was serving God alone. Now more than ever, I know that this needs to change. But not just for me.
I think so much of our Christian community is built around the idea of God serving us.
If we’re honest, most of the time, we go to “church” to receive. We are good Christian consumers. We sit passively in the pew and partake of the worship and sermons. We belong passively to our “church” and expect everything to be programed and laid out for us by others. It’s someone else’s job to organize meetups, get-togethers, small groups, men’s groups, women’s groups, bible studies, social gatherings and so on. As Christians, we can often end up belonging to a church, but not to God. Belonging to God is not passive. God has not called us to go to church, but to be The Church.
Going to church is passive.
Being the Church is active.
I believe today more than ever The Church needs to do a 180 degree turn away from being served, to serving. To do that, we need to start building our Christian communities around the radical idea of being called out by God for works of service and ministry.
We all have a gift from the Spirit.
We all have a call from God to serve in the advancement of His Kingdom.
A lot of my frustration three weeks ago was about my attempt to be the Church.
What God showed me was that I was attempting to be the Church alone, which isn’t the Church at all. I need more than just my own attempt to serve God. I need to start learning how to serve God in the midst of community.
God has declared this year to be a year of building community for me.
There are two ways God has called me to build community. One is far and wide, and one is close to home. This year, I will be building an on-line community through various social media outlets like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. But more important, this year I will be building a much smaller, in person community with other Christians who feel called to serve as I do. I believe that is where the real impact is made.
I believe that many local church congregations have forgot how to be a body of believers on mission for Christ in the world. I want to help the Church see that. To do that, I need to find it for myself.
I look forward to seeing what God will do for and through me in this year of building community.