As some of you know, I am currently studying at Tabor Christian College. As part of my Christian Ministry unit we are engaging in lots of reflection regarding God’s mission and how we, the church, are the second way that God chooses to incarnate Himself in the world – “Whoa!” As part of my refection in this unit I was challenged by a friend who asked me whether I had included the wider body of the church, not just my close Christian friends (and a cursory conversation with Malcolm), in the major decisions I had made over the last couple of years. My friend suggested that the biblical model of church as family/a body/sharing fellowship (koinonia) of the Holy Spirit etc. points to the importance of making major decisions with church members who are not just thinking individualistically but also communally – e.g. how would it impact the church if I quit work, sold my house etc. I was reminded during yesterday’s lecture that the church is ‘infused with the spirit’ and therefore any future decisions re ministry, even if they may involve leaving one community to join another, are best done in the context of my current community, where we can listen together and I can humbly acknowledge I am not a lone ranger.
Although I long to be part of a community of believers with a shared vision to serve those who have no-one to love them (with no clear idea of where, whom, how), I realise I have been operating as an individual, selectively choosing whom I will listen to God with and have discussions with regarding the future. So this is an act of repentance, for largely excluding my wider community in my decision-making process to leave work, sell house, go to bible college, etc. I’m sorry church, please forgive me.
As part of that ‘turning around’, I’d like to invite anyone who feels particularly interested/called to hold up my future plans before God and listen together, to talk to me. I would encourage others who are at crossroads in their life to consider Jesus’ incredible prayer for His church (us): The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
The world will know that the Father loves them and sent Jesus for them through our unity/dependence/honouring of one another . . . Another “Whoa!”