Community in Cultural Crisis

Can we all just get along? Rodney King asked that question many years ago, and we still struggle with figuring this out in our messy world. In a culture that is confused on defining marriage and preoccupied with threats of terrorism, racial unrest, and threats of anarchy, what is a Christian to do? Culture was messy in Jesus’ day too, but we don’t find him standing on a street corner condemning the world, or launching hateful Facebook or Twitter posts, or writing rants in the Jerusalem Post.

During World War 2, the closer the bombers got to the target, the more flack they experienced. If the bombardier focused on the flack, the target would be missed. As the flack increased, it indicated that the bomber was closer to the intended target. We live in a day where “cultural flack” is directed at Christ followers with greater intensity and it important that we don’t lose sight of our ultimate target as Jesus modeled when He walked this earth.

God still exists in a little community, that we call the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit live in absolute unity, as “One God.” Three in one, in absolutely unified common-unity.  There is something in all of us that longs for unity, and God put it there. He calls us to experience, even as sinful people, the kind of common-unity that exists in the Godhead in the very nature of God’s being (Ephesians 4:1-7).

Jesus revealed that community is a top priority, the central message that our Heavenly Father wants to communicate to His people. When Jesus was asked what is most important of all the laws, he responded,  “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

In summary, Jesus is saying that life is most importantly about relationships, a relationship with God and relationships with one another. Everything else is just details. When people say they don’t want to talk about religion or politics, they are saying that they don’t want to talk about the two most important things in life. Religion is relationship with God and politics is relationship with one another. Too many Christians remove themselves from involvement in politics, building fortresses to keep evil out, rather than engaging the culture and fighting for social justice.

Jesus promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18), and the gates of hell cannot stand in the way. Christians are called to be salt and light in a corrupt world. If we lose our saltiness, we ruin poop (Luke 14:34-35).

So it becomes a big question in the church today, “how do we create healthy spiritual environments where people can experience right relationships with God and with one another?” How do we remove the roadblocks and the obstacles in life that sabotage God’s ultimate agenda? That is a burning question for everyone who claims the name of Christ. That is why Paul said that we must make it a priority to maintain what God has established; unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3).

So for those who are wrestling with this question, here are some topics by strategic thinkers that every Christian should consider:

Larry Osborne:

A Leadership Conversation

Making Small Groups the Hub of your ministry

Paul Alexander:

What we can learn from Southwest Airlines

Five Important Indicators of a  Healthy Church

The Unstuck Group (Tony Morgan):

For churches whose potential is greater than their size

Mark Howell:

4 Keys to Connecting People No One Else Is Connecting

OK, this is enough for now… Keep your boat in the water and the water out of the boat.

With love and respect,

Pastor Stan Lubeck

Posted by sblubeck