If you were to pass away tonight, how long would it take for someone to notice?
Last semester I went out with the Inner City Bryan evangelism team. We spent several hours ministering to the people we met. I will never forget one older man that we spent hours talking to. His name was J.G. The reason I will never forget J.G. is not because he was interesting (although he was fun to talk to) but because he passed away the next day.
J.G. passed away on Sunday night, but he was not found until Wednesday–three days later, when people started to wonder about where he had been for the past three days. J.G. did not have any close friends. He did not experience a community of people who genuinely cared about his well-being.
How long would it take for someone to notice if you passed away? The answer to that question is a clear indicator of the quality of your community.
God made us in His image. As part of that image, He created us for community because He lives in community with Himself (as Father, Son, and Spirit). However, if you look around Christian bookstores, the titles and descriptions of books will suggest that the spiritual life is something you do on your own. Why is there a disconnect? Most people don’t recognize the importance of community to their spiritual growth.
I love what John Piper says: Sanctification is a community project. Therefore, if we want to grow as men and women of God, then we need to involve other believers in our lives. Proverbs 27:17 points out that “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Sharpening others can include prayer, accountability and fellowship.
One of the biggest spiritual benefits to living in community is that it helps us realize that we are addicted to ourselves. Are you living in community with other believers? If you desire to grow to be more of a godly man or woman, deepening the level of your community with others is essential.
To learn more about becoming a man or woman of God, join us this Friday for our All Freedom Retreat on “Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.” See the calendar for details. To sign up, email Linda Hoch at firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact info.