Day 7 of the 31 Day Community Bootcamp

After your 24 hours of reflecting on the people that you would like to be closer to in your church, it is now time to compare your list with others. For me and my wife, that is fairly simple, but when it comes to adding our kids into the mix, things get interesting. 

     If you are brave enough to have kids involved in the conversation, be prepared to guide them away from their current friends at church and to think of other family units. You can also help to guide their thoughts away from “Who can benefit me?” to “What family can we bless?” 

     I understand that many who do this bootcamp will be doing it alone, so if you don’t have anyone with which to compare lists, here is what you can do. 

  • Spend 4 minutes praying for each person on your list. This will take 20 minutes total. Use a timer.
  • Contact your church office and ask who in the church could benefit from a phonecall or meal delivery. The answer to this question will be someone who needs community.
  • Take the time to read through your church’s directory from cover to cover. What names or faces jump out to you. Prayerfully consider if God is calling you to make changes to your list.

You will notice that the suggestions above are intentionally directed towards others rather than ourselves. No matter where you are in your church relationships, if you are doing this Bootcamp, I think it is safe to assume that you are dissatisfied with the quality of community you experience in your church. That is ok. I am too, and I am a pastor.

     The problem comes when we are quick to complain about our church’s community, and unwilling to do the hard work of restoring Biblical community to our church. The best way to restore community is to be the thing that you need. 

     If you struggle to feel connected, you are not alone. I don’t just mean the other people in this Bootcamp, but other people in your church. I have yet to have a conversation with someone in the Church who is 100% satisfied with the depth of their relationships. Committed members of your church want more. You are not alone and someone else needs community just as much as you need it. 

     Tomorrow is where the rubber meets the road, so be ready to use your list of five from yesterday, and your list from day 4 to make some changes in your life. In preparation for the rest of the month, I want you to read this passage of scripture from John 17:20-26. 

     Jesus is in the upper room with his disciples. These are the last conversations that He is having with them before He endures the cross. In this holy moment, He prays this prayer over you:

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

     Always remember that God’s plan for you has always been that you would live in unity with other believers. He desires that you live in community with others and with Him for His glory and as a witness to a fallen world. 

Be the answer to Jesus’ prayer for unity today.

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