Last Sunday, on “kickoff Sunday,” we encouraged two steps for the sake of community:
- Come early on Sunday morning
- Hospitality (“don’t spend Sunday alone“)
Neither of these ideas are gennius. Neither idea is all that costly.
But we live in a culture that is obsessed with individualism, and starving for real relationships. The church (which is not a building, but “us” as the people of God) is designed by God to be more than an individual weekly worship experience. The church is disigned to display God’s love in community. In our relationship-starved culture, taking these ideas and cultivating them as habits may have surprising results.
1) Let’s make “come early” a habit for community. Today is Saturday. Consider how you can prepare yourself and (if applicable) your kids to make it to church early — early enough to greet a few people, to pray for someone, or to receive prayer yourself if it’s been a hard week. If we arrive 10 minutes early instead of 10 minutes late — what do you think the difference is in your experience of worship, in your opportunity to connect with people, and your opportunity to see God working in people’s lives? Let’s come early, and come expectant that God is at work!
2) Let’s make hospitality a habit for community. Last week, many people from Redeemer invited over friends from church and friends from their neighborhood. The simple step of inviting someone over can build trust, deepen friendships, and create opportunities to talk about the hope we have in Christ. And when hospitality becomes a habit, it can change lives, households, and neighborhoods. So as we go forward, let’s not view hospitality as something for one Sunday. Consider how you can make habits for not spending Sundays alone. Maybe that means inviting over a neighbor once per month. Maybe that means keeping your calendar open to invite guests or people you don’t know as well after the service. Maybe it means continuing to invite people over, even if they couldn’t make it last week. Let’s make hospitality a habit for the sake of gospel community.
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35) Of course, there are many other ways to love one another. But why not make a decision now that you intend to cultivate these habits of community to the glory of God?