I’m writing some weekly emails to my fellow leaders at Crestview. Here’s the email from 4/24:
As we keep working through Dangerous Calling, we are doing so in the hope that God would engage our hearts to make us holy. We want to be servants of Christ who honor Him with our lives. In chapter 6, “The Missing Community,” Tripp begins by explaining a transformation that took place in his heart and life when he understood that Christianity isn’t just Jesus and me but relational community. Here’s his explanation, which is helpful for us seeing how our hearts need to change: “I have now come to understand that I need others in my life. I now know that I need to commit myself to living in intentionally intrusive, Christ-centered, grace-driven, redemptive community. I now know it’s my job to seek this community out, to invite people to interrupt my private conversation, and to say things to me that I couldn’t or wouldn’t say to myself. I have realized how much I need warning, encouragement, rebuke, correction, protection, grace, and love. I now see myself as connected to others, not because I have made the choice but because of the wise design of the one who is the head of the body, the Lord Jesus Christ. I cannot allow myself to think that I am smarter than him. I cannot allow myself to think that I am stronger than I am. I cannot assign to myself a level of maturity that I do not have. I cannot begin to believe that I am able to live outside of God’s normal means of spiritual growth and be okay. I cannot allow the level of my spiritual health to be defined by my ministry experience and success or by my theological knowledge. I cannot let myself be lulled to sleep by the congratulatory comments on ministry weekends by people who mean well but really don’t know me. I cannot let myself think that my marriage can be healthy if I live in functional isolation from the body of Christ.” (p.84)
Do you understand these things to be true in your life? Are you aware of the danger of individualized Christianity? Today, let this be a reminder to escape the clutches of rugged American individualism for the amber waves of community that God has allowed to surround you in the church. Let’s embrace this for His glory and our good.