Last year the people at Relevant started a new branch called Neue which is targeted toward church leaders. They put out a quarterly book zine with some pretty inspiring and thought provoking articles. I just read one today and it really made me think. Here's an excerpt from the article about community by Jimmy Spencer
"Community is simply the network of relationships that are birthed from working together. This important work is to reflect Jesus and His message so strongly that it compels those we encounter to ask us why we are so unique. We at The Sherma Movement call this Viral Jesus. Unfortunately, we spend so much time motivating and training people how to do the work of the Church, we often have little time to actually do the work. I would implore leaders to get workers into society and allow them to experience, and sometimes fail at, being Jesus to others. This work builds the Kingdom, matures us and produces real community amongst those who participate. This is the Kingdom of God.
We should be conforming people to the image of Jesus. Not ourselves. God community is a beautiful mosaic of different people and practices. Adding unique people to our community refines us into who God intended us to be."
As a leader in my church this really spoke to me. The community we are building in our college group....is it for fun, or for the Kingdom?
Five of us are going to New Orleans this weekend to help the baptist mission there hand out candy to kids on Halloween and to help get all their Christmas decorations up. This place demands a lot of hard work and a heart for that community, and I love it. Every time I go though, I'm reminded that I need the same heart for the people of my own community in Austin. I need to yearn to love those that others don't, but who Jesus would go straight to. I pray my church develops this same yearning that I so desire.
We are beginning a campaign to raise money to build a new sanctuary in our church in an effort to reach out to our community more. I pray that in this process we, as a body, grow closer together because we are all working for the same cause. I pray we remember that it's for the Kingdom of God, and not just for a newer bigger building.
This was long, I hope some of yall made it to the end. I guess I should stop reading articles that tug at my heart and read some for my class in a few hours, haha.
ps. I graduate in less than 8 weeks!
pps. I've been thinking about seminary lately and I feel very drawn to marriage and family counseling or something along those lines. If you think about it, pray for clarity in listening to what God has for me :)