When I was a pastor in Joliet, Illinois, there was a man who was always with us on Sunday mornings. He was handicapped. He lived alone. He walked, so slowly, to the church building every Sunday morning. I mean every. No matter what the weather conditions. My thought was, “This man is committed!”
Linda and I are committed. This is nothing to boast about. This is basic discipleship. When we were growing up, our families were there on every Sunday morning. We never missed. Sunday is the Christian disciple’s Sabbath.
One of the Ten Commandments says, Remember the Sabbath day, and be there.
Keep it holy.
My parents did. The DNA of Sabbath-keeping became my DNA.
Linda’s parents did the same with their children. Linda’s dad and mom were on fire for Jesus! Missing the weekly gathering of the people, the church, was unthinkable for them. It formed the center of their born-again life. As it says in Hebrews,
Do not give up meeting together,
as some are in the habit of doing,
but encouraging one another
— and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Real disciples are in community. In “fellowship.” So much of what Jesus has taught me about being like Him has been learned in community.
The letters of Paul are not addressed to individual Christians. They are addressed to Jesus-Communities. Nearly every time the word “you” is used in Paul’s letters, it is plural.
The precious manifestations of the Holy Spirit (the “gifts”) only make sense within The Community.
Jesus taught me that the Bible is a tribal document. He is building his Tribe out of all kinds of people.
I need The Community.
The Community needs me.
We ARE the Church.
(From my book 31 Letters to the Church on Discipleship)