New Year’s Resolutions and Community

I was trying to remove a large portion of ice from my driveway last week, very frustrating… It was packed down after 2 snows and being driven on for 2 weeks. I didn’t want to use ice melt because it would damage the concrete. I’ve got one portion of concrete that looks like the moon, “spalled” as they call it, from ice melt. The snow shovel was inadequate but I made headway with the ice breaker/scraper and some help from my youngest son 🙂

The lesson in all this: Take the right approach — remove the snow when it snows (and before you drive over it). Some things are unnecessarily hard…

I was thinking about how this relates to New Year’s Resolutions and following Jesus.

We know Jesus calls us to follow Him and that we can’t do it alone (we need community). But for many the experience of community is like removing ice from your driveway.

Why is that? I’m convinced our approach is what determines success or failure. We can tend to view everything in terms of how it will benefit us. We can look at life and people as though they owe us, and that destroys community, something like this…
  • Family: “This is where my needs are met.”
  • Work: “This is where I get paid.”
  • Friendships: “This is where I have fun.”
  • Social networking: “This is where I share what I’m feeling, thinking and doing.”
  • Local church: “This is where I get fed.”
  • Community: “This is where people listen to me, encourage me, serve me.”
We wonder why the ice is so thick (and other people just don’t get it). It is because our approach is self-focused and not other-focused.

Now think about HOW JESUS CALLS US TO APPROACH COMMUNITY:
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45

What if we approached a small group (or local church community) in order to serve the people there?

“I’m going to pray for them. I’m going to ask questions, listen to them and get to know what’s important to them. I’m going to look for what God is doing and affirm that. I’m going to be honest with them.”

A side note on the subject of honesty.
Why does so much goofiness go on in community? Because people aren’t honest. Have you ever had a friend point out you had food on your teeth? And told them “Whew! Thanks for being a friend!” For some strange reason people think love means smiling and tolerating (then avoiding any future contact). No, real love means being honest and walking together. Yes, we overlook offenses and bear with one another’s weaknesses. But we also care enough to let people know when they repel, disrupt, dominate, self-destruct, or have spinach on their teeth.

 

Think about what it would be like to experience real community where you are doing life together with others — sharing good times and bad, loving and being loved, knowing others and being known, accepting and being accepted, doing the stuff Jesus did together…


I believe 2012 is to be a year of growing in missional community at SHV. Let’s take a step in this direction together, first and foremost taking the approach of coming “to serve and not be served.”


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