I spoke to a friend recently from another state. I met him through a mutual friend and, although we have never met in person and he is probably 25 years my senior, we talk regularly on the phone and I am always encouraged by his insights and experiences. He is a “retired” pastor and church planter who preaches and teaches regularly in his local church in support of a younger pastor and a growing congregation.
Today we were talking about the concept of intentional community. He said growing up on a farm he was part of an unintentional community with those he worked closely with. We are often in unintentional communities through a range of circumstances, school, work etc., and many if not most of them are not without important relational benefit that we appreciate and value. But when we are intentional about community we take on more of a missional or purposeful approach to life and relationships.
Jesus routinely spoke to the masses on the hillsides and shorelines of Galilee. He met them in the gates of their cities and the Temples where they worshipped. He went to where they were to meet them and talk to them. He was intentional about creating an environment where others could feel comfortable and safe so He could speak life and light to them. He is still speaking life and light today as we connect with others and share the joy and peace that only comes through Him.
I’m not saying we should preach or debate or point out error to everyone we meet. In fact I’m saying not to do that. But what I am saying is that we can be intentional about sharing hope to the hopeless, courage to the discouraged, freedom to the bound and healing to the broken.
The world in which we live has never been more in need of the things only Jesus can provide.
Let’s begin to look for opportunities to create community with others intentionally so we can tell them how God really feels about them and all the things He’s done for them through Christ!