Even though I run by myself early in the morning, I’m not alone as a runner. I have friends who run and even family members who run. It’s good to have those connections because, believe me, you don’t get too many miles logged before a host of questions pop up.
Should I rest or run through the pain? (Which can be rephrased as, is this a real injury or am I just a baby?) What’s the best way to work up to a longer distance? How do I tell when I need new shoes? Is Gu really worth it?
No matter what questions I come up with, some runner I know has the answer. They’ve been through it and they are more than willing to share what they’ve learned.
Oh, I could figure things out on my own, but in the end, I’d make more mistakes. I’d be injured more often, and for longer periods. By learning everything the hard way, I’d spend less time actually running.
For some reason, that’s the way we operate as believers. On our own. Muddling through. Figuring things out the best way we can. Maybe we’re afraid people will find out we don’t have it all together. Maybe we’re afraid we’ll look weak. Or sinful.
So we keep quiet. We don’t ask. We pretend like we know everything. We never have problems. And we miss out on one of the greatest blessings God gave us.
In the Greek, the word is ekklesia, and until the time of Christ, it meant any assembly people were called to, like a town hall gathering. Usually, we translate the word “church” and keep reading. The first-century followers of Christ redefined the very word by the way they connected and treated each other.
We need each other, far more than we realize. We need to share our stories and our struggles. We need to testify about how God is working in our lives. We need to be a blessing and an encouragement. We need safety and transparency and vulnerability.
Within a community, we build the relationships and the love that Christ meant for us to have for one another.
It if from a community that we launch out on the Great Commission.
A group of unique individuals transforming into a community of brothers and sisters is the sure witness of God’s power at work in us.