God Is In The Neighborhood

Post date: Oct 23, 2013 6:35:31 PM

Dear Family of Faith,

“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” – John 1:14 (The Message)

Jesus knew a thing or two about community. He willing departed the glory of heaven to walk among people. To begin his public ministry Jesus walked up to a dozen men and offered the invitation, “Follow me.” They took him up on the offer. These disciples witnessed the Sermon on the Mount, the calming of a storm, the healing of man born blind, the resurrection, and much more.

Jesus knew a thing or two about community. In fact, he was convinced that for faith to thrive it must be done in community. People who have never even picked up the Bible know the famous passage referred to as the Lord’s Prayer. Read this prayer closely and you will notice that it is filled with community language: our, us, we. Even when Jesus taught on prayer he taught about community.

Enter First Baptist Church.

We gather as a group of people committed to following Jesus. Along the way we see some amazing things - restoration, redemption, forgiveness, and more. We don’t do it alone. Jesus never intended for us to do it alone. In fact, I don’t believe we can be obedient to Jesus and do it alone. Remember, Jesus’ ministry was done in community.

So what do we do with this? Allow me to offer a few suggestions:

  • Participate: Fully engage in worship and Bible study. Come to worship and Bible study ready to sing, pray, provided input, encourage, ask a question, welcome a visitor. If following Jesus is to be done in community – our experience is lacking when you don’t participate. On the flip side – our experience is richer when you do participate.
  • Deep Relationships: True community can’t happen in a large group setting for an hour or two a week. For true community to take place there needs to be something deeper. Have someone over for dinner. Call a member of your Sunday school class. Move from idle chitchat at a ball game to something deeper. Superficial relationships don’t build community.
  • Start At Home: Your home is a great place to begin deep spiritual relationships. Do you talk to your spouse, children, loved ones about spiritual things? Do you share prayer concerns? Do you seek God together? If it doesn’t happen at home it mostly likely won’t happen elsewhere.

If I can be of any help – please let me know. I pray for you often.

Blessings,

Pastor Jeff