In Christ and In Community – Seeking to Serve God as His Body

The women’s ministry at my church has been seeking to build community among our women.  We feel that in addition to our own individual walks with Jesus, we must also grow together as the body of Christ.  We must be truthful, authentic, trustworthy, vulnerable, encouraging and filled with grace.  We are a safe place to work through pain, to ask the hard questions of God, to be healed by our Savior, and to be real with each other.  We challenge one another toward love and good deeds.  We encourage one another as our body seeks to bring glory to God.  We are learning what it means to not give up meeting together and to live as a body of believers, a community.  God did not intend for us to be independent but interdependent.  We are tired of just playing church and ready to live God’s wordWe desire to be authentic followers of Jesus Christ.  May our Lord help us in this endeavor!

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

This community lifestyle is counter-cultural – as was much of what Jesus did.  I just read a short biography on William Wilberforce.  He lived in close community with other believers who were dedicated to following the Lord and to doing God’s work.  They ate meals together each day.  They discussed issues, prayed together, supported one another, faced trials together, and lived life together in close community; not to the exclusion of the world however.  Their opponents even called them by a group name – viewed them as radical, cultish even.  But God used them collectively to abolish slavery.  They bravely stepped up and joined together to accomplish God’s work in a society where money, greed, debauchery, anti-religion and more ruled the day.

I’ll be praying about what God has set before us to accomplish in our day and I hope you will be too.  Watching for where He is working and how we are to join Him in that place.  When we work together toward His purposes as His body, He can accomplish great things through us.  We so often speak about individual ministry asking, “What is your ministry?  What has God called you to?”  – personal, individual calls to purpose.  But I believe that God desires to call His people to action – His body of believers, wherever they are located, to accomplish His work in that place.  Our individual calls are (should be) within this overall call to the body.  One of the great calls that I have been hearing repeatedly is that we must become a people of prayer.

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  Ephesians 4:4-6

Lord God, would you please reveal to us Your plans for our congregation and community.  Help us to be ready, as Your body, to work together in unity toward Your purposes.  I pray for our leaders too that they may be filled with Your Holy Spirit, and that they are seeking Your face each day as they make decisions that affect the course of our year.  I know Lord, that You will equip us for whatever You call us to do.  Help us to follow You with faith, trust, and courage.  I thank You for Your grace, Your mercy and Your blessing over our church.  We come humbly before You as we worship, expectantly waiting for Your revelation to us.  It is in the powerful name of our Lord Jesus I pray.  Amen.

Ephesians 4.15

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