Sermon Main Points:
True community happens when...
1. People love each other as much as they love themselves.
2. People make deep and lasting commitments to one another.
3. People faithfully defend one another.
4. People boldly protect one another.
And...maintaining true community requires a lifelong commitment.
Engage Class Discussion Highlights:
First, we talked about what things keep us from experiencing true Christian community today. We discussed things like our culture, fear, unwillingness to be vulnerable with each other, a lack of a desire to connect with one another, and not recognizing our need for community.
Then, we explored the idea that - as Christians - we are to be loving to everyone, but true community (like David and Jonathan's) will only be experienced with a few people in our lives. Those "few" should include spouses, children, and the close family/friends that God puts in our lives. We recognized that it is not our responsibility to live this way with everyone in the church, but we were hopeful that if each person sought to experience true community with a few people in the church, then the chances that most - if not all - people in the church would experience true community would be greater.
We then decided on a couple of action items for all of us to consider like being willing to take the risk and seek true community with a few people in our lives, evaluating how willing we truly are to connect with people on this level, and recognizing that we must first look inside our own homes to develop this kind of true community.
Daniel Hachez made a great observation. He said that if we're going to even have a chance at being successful in experiencing true Christian community with others, then we must strive to reduce "busy-anity" in our lives! I think I'll start using that word!
Now it's your turn!
After the class, Corrie Girdner came up to me and said she still had a couple more questions about this topic that she wanted to ask. With her permission, allow me to pose these questions to you...and then it's your turn to add to the conversation.
Do you think friendship covenants like David and Jonathan's should be entered into today?
How can we know who to enter into this deep kind of friendship with?
What about deep male/female friendship between non-married people? Is it biblically permissible for Christians to continue to pursue these type of friendships once they're married?
These are great questions! Corrie, Nathan, Michelle, and I talked about them for a bit after class, but we'd all love to hear from you, so it's your turn to take a whack at these questions. What say you?!