- God spoke in Tulsa that we are to be a “discipleship station- a place where authentic disciples are produced.”
- Some hindrances to relationship: Fear, broken trust, offense, past hurts, abuses by leadership.
- The California Institute of Mental health cited: If a person has no supporting/enhancing relationships they are 2-3 times more likely to die an early death, 4 times more likely to suffer emotional burnout, 5 times more likely to suffer depression, and 10 times more likely to have a mental disorder.
· They found we all face tragedy and tough times but those with good friends make it through.
- Things Community Produces:
· 1- Encouragement. Oh to be “in courage”! Hebrews 3:12-13 says to ‘encourage each other daily’!
o Heb 3:12 is proof that community isn’t a once a week service but relationships you hear from every week.
· 2- Prayer. Epaphras from Colossians 4:12-13 = Wrestles in prayer for you in 3 major areas!!
o Community isn’t just about meeting new friends it’s also about going deeper with the ones you have.
o Call each other, exchange a 3x5 card at church with your name and phone
· 3-Honesty. We all need a place where we can share our issues and not be deemed a lesser Christian because of it. But we also need those who will speak the truth in love to us too.
o Eph 4:25 and Proverbs 28:13
· 4-Growth. Growth doesn’t happen by information alone, it happens by reinforcement and repetition through friends. Information is not enough, we need application.
o Content won’t change you, the connections you make around the content will.
o As long as the body parts stay connected, they will grow right along with the body. (hand)
o Col 2:19 – A body (including Grace Church) is held together by its “inner connections”!
o Romans 1:11-12 (NCV). You’re faith helps me and my faith helps you. That is community.
o God said to the EOC pastors that our churches need to mature so we can care for what He wants to produce.
o 3 stages of life: Infancy (learning), Adolescence (experimentation), Adulthood (reproduction).
§ Infants cannot reproduce. Teens should not reproduce because most are not mature enough financially, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, relationally to care for what they produce. May our churches allow God to move us to adulthood!
- Things Community Produces cont…
· 5- Forgiveness and Repentance. Great sign of maturity. Can you say “I was wrong” or “I am sorry”
o You can major on being right all the time or you can major on having good relationships; not both.
o God actually wants the things He gives you in His relationship with you to show up in your relationship with others. It’s called witnessing. (the love He gives you, the forgiveness etc)
· 6- Security. There’s so much brokenness and loss in relationships today, security is a huge need.
o God combats all of it by raising up communities of believers who AGREE to walk together no matter the ups and downs and who will comfort those who suffer loss in life.
o Again we cannot just offer people Jesus without offering them ourselves and our time/care.
o Galatians 5:13 and 6:2 are stout. Important that we are reaching out but that those who are hurting are honest enough to share their struggles with us.
· 7- Roles and Responsibilities. Everyone is a 10 in something. Being a part of a community and spiritual family will help you to discover what your grace gift is.
o Spilled salad example. Mercy person runs to comfort the one who spilled it. Servant gift runs and cleans up the mess. Administrative person says next year we won’t place the bowl so close to the edge of the table. The teacher says, “Well guess what we can all learn from this?”
o Heb 2:9 – Jesus had assignment grace to die for the world. We all have an assignment grace too.
o Romans 12:6-9 (NLT). If you’ve got it, use it.
· 8- Application. Information becomes application through community.
o Just listening to a lecture and watching the teacher build something doesn’t help you near as much as getting with friends after the lecture with your own set of tools and trying to build it.
o Up at 5am. Francis Chan says the devil loves American churches because they do not apply the Word, they think hearing it is enough. Same thing Chi Chi Bizmark said in Tulsa. He cited James 1:22- those who hear the Word but don’t do the Word deceive themselves.
- You will get out of relationships what you put into them. Here are 4 great ingredients!
· Time. Your time belongs to God. You are a steward.
· Truth. Wearing a mask is hard work.
· Trust. The belief that someone is reliable, good, and honest.
· Talk. Extroverts need to learn the value of listening and Introverts need to learn the value of talking.