My early years as a Christian, I was discipled in a church that emphasized the power of the Word of God. What God said in His Word could be trusted with absolute certainty. If He made a promise in Scripture I could claim it as my own. However, while I memorized God’s Word and learned to rely on it as Truth, I also developed an attitude of independence.
This is God’s Word spoken to me.
This is God’s promise I am standing on.
Unfortunately this line of thinking cultivated a strong framework of individuality that affected every area of my life.
I don’t really need anyone. God and me—that’s more than enough.
Sadly I missed out on the beauty and synergy of “we.”
From the earliest days of creation, the Lord emphasized relationships. He formed the first man in His own image. In the perfection of the Garden, He walked personally with Adam in the cool of the evening. Adam enjoyed God’s very presence, and God still said, “It’s not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18).
Today I am convinced that the Lord intended His Word to be much more than My Book of personal, individualized promises. Yes, He created me with special gifts and a specific personality. Yes, I enjoy a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And yes, He does speak His Word to my heart. But, the Lord’s intentions go far beyond a personalized faith. His Word is spoken to His people in the context of community.
For instance Romans 12:4-5 says, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
Each member belongs to all the others. That sounds like community.
Reading the Scriptures through the lens of community sheds new light. Everything becomes more about “we” and less about “me.”
As leaders, we are called to influence people in a common mission, to work together toward a compelling vision. We must not sit at the top of a hierarchy and issue commands, expecting others to do the work. Our role requires a collective effort. We cannot do what God has asked with an independent spirit. We are created for community. And we are better together.
Do you struggle as a leader to include others?
Identify an area that you will begin to invite others to be a part.
Heavenly Father, I believe you have called me with a purpose as part of something bigger. Help me to rely on You and invite others along for the journey. May I desire to live and lead in the context of community, so that Your Kingdom is built and You are glorified. In Jesus’ name. Amen.