Tense. That’s how I describe my relationship with community. This is coming from a very Gospel and Community oriented weekend. Between Thursday and Friday I had three different meetings focused on how the Gospel needs to change us as individuals and a body. Saturday and Sunday evenings I was faced with a challenging message from Josh at Atmosphere about what my calling is now, and how it is being worked out. Sunday morning I met with my Fight Club– me and two other guys who will (lovingly, not literally) punch me in throat if I don’t deal with my sin issues. Last night, my small group met and we discussed what loving other believers looks like, and this morning I met with a group of godly guys for prayer and encouragement.
I hate it.
The sinful, prideful, arrogant Jakob doesn’t want any of this. Deep down, my flesh hates it: “Community? Really? Why on earth would you want others involved in your life? You can and should do this on your own! Why let others challenge you when you are doing just fine!?”
I don’t want to be a part of Gospel-centered communities because they hold me accountable for my sins and encourage me to grow. They challenge my heart. They force me to look at myself and my actions and compare them to God instead of others. They speak the call of Gospel into the life that I so want to be in control of.
I need it
But I cannot imagine being away from any of it! I sometimes wonder what my life would be apart from these people, the Church, God…
What would it be like if I dropped the Fight Club? If we ended our small group? If I quit Atmosphere? Nothing. Nothing good anyway. Pastor Cousineau talked about that in this weekend’s sermon– if I stop moving forward I begin moving backwards. That is why I need my small group, Fight Club, and everything else: they hold me accountable for my sins and encourage me to grow. They challenge my heart. They force me to look at myself and my actions and compare them to God instead of others. They speak the call and the comfort of Gospel into the life that I so want to be in control of.
Being part of the body of Christ is vital to staying connected to the head.