Called into community

There is a tendency within the Church to consider the gifts and calling of the Spirit as being individualistic gifts and callings. This can result in a form of Christianised selfishness that is outworked through the self promotion of my gift, my ministry, my calling, my position…which results in the destruction of true community.

Gifting causes the church to worship as a collect in three directions; they being upward, inward and outward. Collectively and therefore individually we worship, praise and pray in an upward direction to God. We collectively and individually receive from God which causes us to be strengthened, built up and edified. This reception is not just for us; it’s for the greater good of the community in which we live and work out our faith.

Therefore our gifting, calling and position is not our gift, call nor position; it is God’s gift, call and anointing for the church. The gift of healing is for those who need healing. The gift of prophecy is for those whom God wishes to speak and who need a word from the lord. The gift of pastor is for the congregation. Therefore no matter what God has called us; gifted us, anointed positioned us into; it isn’t one of self promotion and existence; rather it’s a position owned by the community, for the community within the community, for the communities greater good.

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2 Replies to “Called into community”

  1. I’ve been thinking about this topic recently. I was raised Independent Baptist and there was very little of a “community” mindset in that church. I am now a member of a different congregation and although I would like to see more of a community attitude, it is significantly greater than my childhood church.
    Your relation of this to gifts really causes me to think of how we are to live our lives. We are a community of believers and are to be concerned with the health of the body. I long to see a congregation that doesn’t kick a brother/sister when they fall, but struggles to restore them. A congregation that doesn’t hold one’s own money as their own, but willingly helps their needy siblings with joy.
    N.T. Wright is the one who God used to plant the idea of the early church being more community driven than individualistically driven. I think he is correct.
    Thanks for the post. Good thoughts!

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