Thankful for Community
There is no greater blessing than Christian community. Entering the holiday season, we are reminded to reflect and to act upon our gratitude. We’re thankful for the relationships that point us to Jesus and persevere through the inevitable ups and downs of our faith journeys.
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3–6
Surely, you’re familiar with this popular greeting from Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, but take a moment to slow down and take a deep breath in the midst of busy personal lives and church calendars. Reflect on each of the following points and then consider one final question for your own disciple-making opportunities.
“I thank my God every time I remember you . . .
Pause for a moment to remember the people who have been influential in your own faith journey—sharing the gospel, modeling the love of Jesus, and walking alongside you in discipleship. Who is it in your life?
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy . . .
What emotions do you feel as you reflect on your relationship with them? Take a moment now to pray for the person or people you identified. Thank God for them.
because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now . . .
How is your life better because of their influence? How have they helped you grow in the gospel? Be specific.
If you lead a team of staff and/or of volunteers, plan on connecting with each person to remind them of the privilege you share in serving together in ministry.
If you are a volunteer leader or staff member, plan on encouraging the pastors or other leaders overseeing your area of ministry or of the church as a whole.
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Finally, be reassured that we all still have room and time to grow in personal maturity and in the fruitfulness of ministry. God is at work in and through you. He’s at work in and through the people for whom you’re thankful. And He’s even at work in and through those who cause problems and/or still seem to have a long way to go in their walk with Christ. Pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to do good work in your lives for the sake of Jesus’ name.
No matter how long we’ve been following Jesus, we’re all in this together. That’s part of the beauty of the Church.
To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:1–2
What are you doing to invite others into this kind of community—a local gathering of God’s holy people, growing together in Christ Jesus?
Prayerfully consider this holiday season what you can do to intentionally bless others, expressing gratitude for those who encourage your faith, and inviting people into a smaller group of relationships that centered around Christ Jesus.
If you don’t yet have a copy of “Your Discipleship Pathway and Ecosystem,” Rooted Network’s free resource for October and November, sign up below for our email list. In the downloadable PDF, we’ll help you map out a simple journey into community (and identify what to do to help people grow and flourish in relationships with God and each other).
Also, click here to download a free sample of Rooted, a proven discipleship experience that connects people to God, the Church, and their purpose. All over the world, churches use Rooted to invite people into Christian community and to launch ongoing groups that provide ongoing relationships that nurture faith in daily life. See how it can work in your local church.