by Brian Sharpe
When I was in College I grew a lot spiritually. It was not because I went to bible school. It was because of the relationships I had. When I graduated high school I was involved in “church” activities, but I was not really growing. The college pastor and I started a friendship where we talked life and God. That was the start of my growth. I also had two friends, Jon and Matt and we pushed each other spiritually. I know I talk about this a lot, but that is because it is biblical. We need each other. We cannot grow spiritually on an island.
Jesus gives us the great commission at the end of his ministry. Matthew 28:18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Jesus tells the disciples to make disciples and know that He will be with them always. There is a sense of mutual community. Jesus in relationship with us will help us make disciples. Matthew 18:20 says that when we as believers gather in Jesus’ name He is with us. God desires us to live together with one another in mutual community. As we live in mutual community, God shows up and works in us and through us.
Do you live in mutual community? Today in the Christian church in America there is an independence. All I need is me and God. This is a true statement, but it is an incomplete statement. If we want to truly grow then we need God and one another. That is the way God works. He works in community. We see that in creation with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We see it in Jesus’ ministry with the 12. I know I see it in my life. When I have people I can be real with, I grow spiritually. Who do you have? Whose life are you speaking into? Who is challenging you to grow closer to Jesus?
There are a lot of lonely believers in the Church because we don’t make an effort to take relationships to the next step. Mutual community is hard. It costs us time and emotional energy. It forces us to be intentional with our relationships. Mutual community is all about taking the relationships to the next step. It is where you are willing to move past the surface of sports and daily routine and willing to ask questions about life and faith. Are you willing to go to the next level? Are you willing to live in mutual community? I know I need it! I know right now I have mutual community. My heart is that we will all live in mutual community.