Many of you know that over a year ago, we began a new leg of our life’s journey. We moved to Idaho of all places…feeling like God was leading us to a place instead of a specific ministry. In the past, our moves were dictated by a new sense of call to a community of faith (aka local church). This move was dictated by a search for a new place to live and "do" life differently…to live missionally, in community…attempting to experience what we had been talking and dreaming about for years. Let me tell you about some of the things we learned…especially about this wonderful thing called, "community":
Where we’ve been in our experience of Community and Living the Kingdom:
a. Romanticism of Community – Community is something that sounds good, comforting and “right” but it really is very dangerous. The closer we get to the intent of Jesus for our lives together, the closer we are going to get not only to the Enemy’s desire to sow seeds of discord and destruction but also the closer we are going to get to the core issues of our lives that hamper the experience of Community. Intimacy in relationship is ALWAYS something to celebrate but it is also something that is extremely costly. We continue to pray for wisdom, love for each other, and spiritual protection as we work through temptations like…
> Wondering “What’s in it for me?” We came face to face with this issue within weeks…Community is not about meeting “my” needs. There is nothing like Community to expose the selfishness, narcissism and deep seeded sense of consumerism that has invaded our souls. Our community has to transcend those temptations…we have to have the love for each other and the desire to work through whatever issues that are presented. We should enter into our next steps in Community with our hearts knowledgeable of the powerful dynamics that we can and will experience…but we should NOT be shortsighted and overly optimistic…it is not by chance that Jesus said in Luke 14 to “count the cost”. We will encounter issues like this and the community has to be committed to work through whatever is presented in the journey of our lives.
> Walking into War – There are two things that I know get the attention of the Enemy – transformed lives that make an impact on others and those experiencing the fullness of life together in community. Community is powerful – transformative and life-giving – each of us in our community dreampt of this for too long…we want to walk life together and experience what God has in store. That’s exactly what the Enemy will NOT want us to experience. We have to pray together for spiritual protection and for the Lord’s power to find victory in the journey.
b. This is God’s Vision – all I know is that we are holding a “tiger by the tail”. I get the sense, as do all of you, that as we embarking on this community journey that we are about something that is not only going to have an impact on our lives and families but on many others. We don’t know the whole story yet…we don’t have a clue about all God is going to do…but there are many people who are going to be ministered to by the journey that we are beginning together. This is God’s vision…not something that can be corralled, controlled, or contained.
Tell you the truth, it was so much easier to just do "normal church" vs. jumping into having more "fun" in community!