This post is excerpted from Connected to Christ: Overcoming Isolation through Community by Brian Davies. Read below to see how you can find community in Christ’s Church.
In previous posts, I have approached the concept of race relations from a theoretical point of view. However, in this post, I want to give you some practical ideas to help make the task ahead seem less daunting. When we work with congregations who ask us for the magic ingredient for reaching their community, we have just one word for them. If you want to know the secret to being relevant in your community, come closer and I will tell you. A little closer. The secret is RELATIONSHIPS!
John Maxwell once said about leadership, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Any hope we have of overcoming racial tension, any hope of seeing beyond color, is based on our ability to build authentic relationships. On to the task at hand: how do you develop a circle of trust? I believe there are five key elements.
As some states are beginning to open back up, many states are still either under stay-at-home orders, require reduced capacity for public gatherings, or mandate social distancing practices.
In the midst of this, many people have been missing their church family. Community is an essential part of the Christian life, and gathering on Sunday mornings for church is a natural way to build relationships. Add to that weekly small group Bible studies, accountability meetings, and hangouts that are no longer happening, and we have a community crisis on our hands.
Note: this article was written for the fall edition of Lutheran Life. It was written before COVID-19 was a worry for the world. As we are now in this new time of social distancing, working from home, and canceled events, consider how you live out your vocations under your own roof.
As you consider your vocations, it’s appropriate to start with where you live—right in your very living room. Take a moment to consider whom you live with. Perhaps a spouse, child, parent, or friend. What are practical ways you can love and serve those under the same roof?
Vocational work at home means recognizing the role you play in your family unit. Your very presence in this home holds the potential for you to carry out the good works God has prepared for you to do right here.
Right now, something I’ve been hearing for ages is turning out to be more shallow than I had previously believed. We’ve all probably heard at some point that we live in a time where we are more connected than ever. But now that it’s recommended that we socially distance ourselves from one another to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we can feel how devastating and lonely it is when we are not physically interacting with others in community.
Arch Books, The Story Bible, Follow and Do, Growing in Faith, and Portals of Prayer for Kids—all of these titles are children’s books and resources that are used to foster the knowledge of Christ in children twelve and under. Maybe you’ve bought some of these books for your own children. Maybe it was just last week. Or maybe it’s been a long time since you’ve had little ones in need of spiritual nourishment. So, what do you do with books you no longer need? Or with books you simply no longer need to hold onto? Below are a few ideas to consider.
The congregation—the place where God is present through Word and Sacrament ministry—is where Christ comes to His people. But worship is not the only way in which God works through the local congregation.