We are fiercely independent people, but if we want to grow in Christ, we can’t do it alone. We must depend on others to help us, which means transformation is based on interdependent relationships.
We need to get to a place where we believe we need each other in order to grow in Christ. A place where we see that we need more than just Jesus, a Bible, and a quiet place. Don’t get me wrong, we need Jesus, a Bible, and a quiet place. We need our time in the Word and in prayer, but we also need one another. We not only need another, they need us.
How do we develop interdependent community?
We can start by looking at what took place in the early church. When we look at what the early church did, we learn that they:
- Immersed their lives in God’s Word together.
- Prayed together
- Shared each other’s burdens — They laughed, they cried, they parented, they ate together.
- They celebrated the Lord’s Supper together, proclaiming in a visible way to the world that Jesus is their Savior.
- They served each other and the community.
- They sacrificed for one another.
- They made sure each other’s needs were met.
- They extended hospitality to those around them.
- They were on mission together, seeking to win others to Christ and helping each other grow in their Christian walk.
These are the things the early church did. But why did they do those things? What was behind those activities? Why didn’t they just stay home? Why did they press into community and these activities?
I believe it is because:
They saw themselves as a necessary part of the body of Christ.
They knew that they were missed if they weren’t there. More importantly, they knew that they were hindering the church’s growth and mission when they failed to participate in the life of the church in a real and meaningful way.
Knowing they were a necessary part of the body of Christ led them to share their lives with each other.
There understanding of church as a body that depends on one another for growth and godliness, led them to be open and transparent. It is what led them to share more than their physical needs with one another but also to share their spiritual needs.
Those you attend church with should know how to pray for you, not just physically but spiritually. They should know your fears, your struggles, and your joys.
I know hearing that probably sounds a bit invasive. But that’s what it takes to live in interdependent community with one another that is transformative. If we always keep one another at arms length, if we never let anyone in, we aren’t really depending on them, instead we are depending on ourselves. When we depend on our self alone, we are not going to see the transformation we might desire and certainly the transformation we need. Transformation takes place in community.
Transformation takes place in community
Think about your body for a moment. Your arm doesn’t depend on itself. It depends on the rest of the body to work. We must do the same. We must depend on one another. We must live in interdependent community. When we do, we will see our lives being transformed to be more like Christ as we learn Christ together.
That is how you develop authentic and interdependent community that results in true transformation. You must see yourself as a necessary part of the body of Christ.
Do you see yourself as a necessary part of the body of Christ?
If you haven’t already, subscribe so you don’t miss my next series.
Want to keep learning?
Watch the sermon this post is based on.