I just finished up a series at KeyStone Church called Finding Your Why. (Props to Simon Sinek.) In the context of our small church, I just related our why to the three simple statements that sum us up. Connect to the Creator, Connect to Community, and Connect to the Culture. It’s not rocket science and I am under no illusion that this is some new concept for church. It’s simply an Up, In, and Out approach with a little different lingo.
While I was writing the notes for the Connect to Community section, a revelation hit me. I said, “Community is where you get hurt, and community is where you get healed.”
When Teresa and I came to Colorado to plant KeyStone Church, we heard the statement, “We just need real Community.” ALOT! Listening to the hearts and needs of the people were paramount to me, and so we shifted our model a bit, and began this adventure in Community.
Funny thing about community, as much as people say they want it, many of the same run from it! It took me a while to simply try and understand the absolute irony of community as it related to the body of Christ. You see, Community is a place of healing, and community is a place of wounding.
I didn’t think we needed both, but in fact we do. Then I thought about the community that Jesus surrounded himself with…yeah, if you know anything about the scrambled bunch of eggs that Jesus chose, then you’ll appreciate my point of view.
Jesus never surrounded himself with guys with the “same DNA”. He diversified the group just about as much as a leader can. And then made some pretty amazing disciples out of them.
This community that we strive to have in the church could use a little more diversity. I have heard it said that leaders should just put people around them that think like they do, or that want to see their vision come to life. Well, Jesus didn’t get that memo. He surrounded himself with men from all kinds of backgrounds, and using their own experiences and difference brought about such unity and love, that He actually wrote that this was the way people could tell that they were his disciples, not by the way they loved Jesus, but by the way they loved each other!
I have always thought that a great church would look something like Jesus’ band of misfits and dropouts. Unity in Diversity. Not Conformity.
So, you want real community? Welcome, I can assure you of a few things:
You will be Wounded
You will be Healed
You will be Offended
You will Offend
You will be Corrected
You will be Taught
You will be Enlightened
You will be brought to Life.
You will learn to Love
You will Fight
You will Lose
You will Suffer
You will Gain
You will LIVE!
Community will change you life if you will let it. But it’s like anything. It takes time. Stick it out. Many people run from community just when they are about to enter the fun stage of healing, or teaching, or transformation. Remember the book, “Three Feet from Gold”?
News flash, in order to be healed, you have to first recognize you are sick. Community has a great way of bringing our shortcomings and sicknesses to the fore front. And it has a great way of bringing our healing to the same.
So look at the community you find yourself in. Listen, if you are hiding in a pew somewhere, then you are already decaying. Decay happens when something is left alone. There is no maintenance and change…it’s dead.
If you are willing to take the risk and get back into a community, then you are about to come back to life. I don’t know why Jesus set it up this way, he just did. You can’t grow alone.
C’mon, jump back in. Go get wounded, so you can be healed! Face your fears so you can come alive!