A group of like-minded Believers that share life together in authenticity provides accountability, encouragement, support and growth that is otherwise impossible. I get it...or so I thought.
Last week I watched in horror as parts of Colorado Springs, a city near to my heart, were destroyed in a raging fire. As I tried desperately to explain to friends in Atlanta this heart connection with the Springs, I had difficulty finding the words. But as I witnessed a city in crisis join together before me, Papa whispered a single word: "community."
That's it! It's the Colorado Springs community that made its way into my heart and never left.
Maybe it's the mountains. Or maybe it's the city's mutual addiction to all things coffee. But there's no denying the people of Colorado Springs love their city and do something to make a difference in it. The circles of Believers there don't stay isolated; they engage with the rest of the community.
The city's response to this tragedy isn't surprising. It's who they are. And I'm inspired by it.
I'm challenged to re-evaluate my involvement in Atlanta.
My Community Group is in the midst of reading Gabe Lyons' The Next Christians. "Put simply, the next Christians recognize their responsibility 'not only to build up the church but also to build a society to the glory of God.' (p.117).
Centenial olympic park downtown Atlanta on Public Domain Images
In Atlanta, we don't have mountains, or a community love affair with coffee to tie us together. We're a bit larger, and it's harder to fall in love with the landscape of our city than it is the magnificent snow capped Pike's Peak.
However, like all cities, we have areas of passion from eating organic, running, or reading to the Braves, wine, or animals.
We can start by connecting there. Stepping directly into culture and leveraging love. It's what Jesus did, and so it's what I want to do too.
How are you finding influence in your neighborhood or city to build a society to the glory of God?