Denying Self To Build Community

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                     June 5, 2015

                                    

Recently I watched a DVD that brought to the surface the breakdown of a community in a major metropolitan area of our nation. The deterioration didn’t happen overnight, but rather over a period of twenty years or so. One of the fractures that rose to the surface was the breakdown in the family system. Absentee fathers…parents not investing into their kids lives, sometimes because they were working two jobs to make ends meet…gangs moving into the area to fill the void in young men’s lives that needed some kind of family.

Another fracture was caused by people becoming more concerned with themselves than those who lived in their community. A hint of self-preservation gradually grew to become the odor of selfish ambition. Suspicions grew about people’s agendas. Gang activity resulted in residents being protective of the few things they had. “My brother’s keeper” became non-existent as people felt community concern for their well-being decreased.

Survival defined the environment instead of living life.

The DVD showed how the community was gradually saved…emotionally, economically, relationally, and spiritually…but it was a long journey on a pothole-filled road. It showed one church’s commitment to the high school in that community that changed the lives of students, their families, but also volunteers from the church. A community was resurrected!

And it all came back to that denying oneself to build a safe community for others. What a concept!

Jesus once said some pretty challenging words. He said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23, NIV)

A little while later after he had experienced death and then resurrection he told is disciples to go into all the world making disciples of all nations, baptizing, and teaching them. It seems that following Jesus is about the person stepping off the throne, risking oneself, and loving others. Building community involves some people who are willing to pick up some crosses.

This afternoon I went by the elementary school close to our church that we partner with. The principal had approached me a couple of weeks ago about getting together and strategizing about our partnership next year. Today we set up the appointment and I gave her that DVD to watch before we meet.

It takes more than a community to raise a child. It takes people who would rather share half of their sandwich at lunchtime with a hungry kid than eating the whole thing. It takes vision to see the imbalance and ears to hear the impoverished. It takes a hand to comfort and feet to go the distance.

And, quite honestly, not many people are willing to be that!

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, children, Christianity, Community, Faith, Freedom, Grace, Jesus, love, Nation, Parenting, Pastor, Story, Teamwork, The Church, Uncategorized, Youth

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: