November 23, 2011

The Strength of Community

1 Corinthians 12:1-20, 27

In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Romans 12:5


Jesus challenges his followers to make disciples (Matthew 28:19). He calls them to communal activities of “baptizing” and “teaching” others about him. As followers of Christ, the accountability and nurture we receive together in Christ’s body is what keeps the salt salty, the light shining brightly, and the mission on track.

We are at our best as Christ’s missionaries when we engage our neighborhoods and communities as the body of Jesus Christ—the church. Some in the body are gifted at articulating the gospel in compelling ways. Others have incredible networking skills to develop deep relationships throughout the community. Others have gifts of teaching, service, hospitality, and more. All are needed.

Evangelistic, small-group Bible studies are great ways to engage in Christ’s mission. When a seeker has multiple relationships with several in the group, the probability of their participation is greatly increased. In these groups the diverse gifts of hospitality, prayer, evangelism, and teaching can be mobilized in harmony and supportive ways. This kind of mission engagement is fun and exciting.

Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). We are a missionary people, a missionary church. Nothing contributes to inspiring worship and growth in Christ like engaging together in Jesus’ mission. Pray that we keep that focus and priority.

Lord, we are created within and for community. May we join together as salt and light in this world. Amen.

About the author — Allen & Lynn Likkel

Revs. Allen and Lynn Likkel have worked in communities across North America for many years—planting churches, nurturing them along, and developing new church leaders. A minister in the Christian Reformed Church, Allen served with Christian Reformed Home Missions for nearly 40 years, and Lynn, also ordained as a minister of the Word, has served to build leaders and new congregations. In November 2010, Allen entered retirement, and the Likkels moved to Washington, their native state. They have four adult children.

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