Connecting in Community

for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now
Philippians 1:5

Do you remember the TV show Home Improvement? Tim the Tool-man Taylor had an interesting neighbor—Wilson. Wilson was always the vague character that never revealed his face. He always stood peering over the fence, but never gave full disclosure.

We see this a lot in church community. Unfortunately, week after week, people come in and go out of church, just peering over the fence at one another. What do I mean?

In Philippians 1:5, Paul uses a great Bible word: Koinonea, which in the Greek means intimacy, fellowship, partnership, to be comrades or endeavor in a joint venture together.

As Christians, we are called to partnership and life in community. This means we have to tear down the fences that keep us separated from one another. This is more than just knowing someone’s name or where they sit in church. The great news: Jesus is the best fence destroyer around. The wall of sin that separates us from God is destroyed by the work of Christ on the cross and His resurrection. Unfortunately, too many times we quickly rebuild the wall Jesus so graciously destroyed.

We build fences between God and our shame. We build fences between others and the mess and hurt of our lives. All the while, we are meant to live without fences, and be willing to allow others into our yard, no matter how messy or unkept it may be. We must be willing to be vulnerable and authentic with others, and walk this journey of wholeness in Christ together.

I’m sure there are many who may be reading this that have been wounded by the words, actions, or inactions of others. There are those that may be completely terrified of the idea of allowing someone to see the “real” person behind the fence. Today, your healing begins with the simple step of allowing the fence to come down and allowing Jesus into your yard—mess and all. Slowly, you will begin to allow others in also.

A great question to consider: Whose yard are you in today? Are you intentionally building relationships with others outside of your yard? Maybe your fence has come down, but are you venturing out within your local church to build significant and lasting relationships. Paul was eternally grateful and joyful over the partnership he shared with the Philippian church. Their fellowship and resources enabled Paul to accomplish God’s call on His life. There is someone God has placed in your life to be able to encourage one another in this journey so that you may fulfill all God has set before you.

I look back over my life, and even take a look at where God has me today, and I know there are people strategically placed by God in my life, and me in theirs that we might partner together to fulfill this journey with Christ. Your home in heaven will be in the midst of a wonderful heavenly community, not on your own private island. Thank God for the wonderful community of believers He has planted you in and intentionally engage with one another.

 

 

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