the weblog of Alan Knox

Community and Mission…

Posted by on Jul 6, 2007 in community, missional | 6 comments

A few days ago, I spoke with a friend who I had not spoken with in many years. God used him as a mentor for me over ten years ago. Since then, we have both moved several times. When I talked to this friend, I found out that he was working as a chaplain in a branch of the armed forces of the United States. (I prefer to keep this general, so I am going to leave out many of the specifics.) I told him about my interest in the church as a community of people instead of as an organization. I am going to paraphrase his response. I hope this encourages you as much as it did me:

As a chaplain, one of the most important things that I teach people is that this branch of the military is a community. But, we cannot be a community that only knows about one another’s life. We must be a community that is involved in one another’s life. If a fellow service member is struggling or having problems, we cannot let that continue without addressing the problems. The mission of this branch of the military is at stake. We must be willing to get involved in each other’s lives, to help one another through difficult situations, to support each other when needed. If we only know about one another, and know about other people’s problems, and talk about those problems behind their back, then we are setting up our branch of the military for failure. Our mission is of utmost importance, because the safety and freedom of the American people depend upon us carrying out our mission. And, the success of our missions depends on our ability to live as a community with one another.

How much more important is the mission of the church? How much more important is it that the church lives as a community with one another?

I love what he said about the military, community, and mission. And, he is exactly right! The mission of the church – which is God’s mission – is much more important than the mission of the military. The military (or at least this chaplain) understands the importance of community in carrying out its mission. Shouldn’t the church understand that importance even more?

I’m going to repeat what he said to the church: Our mission depends upon us living as community with one another – the kind of community that knows one another and is willing to get involved in one another’s lives so that we can all help one another as we carry out this mission together.


6 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 7-6-2007

    Quick question. I have discovered Google reader but I can not see how I can get your comments on it.

    Thanks
    JZ

  2. 7-7-2007

    Juan,

    I have never tried to add a blogger comments feed to google reader. However, the comments feed should be something like this:

    http://nameofblog.blogspot.com/feeds/comments/full

    So, for my blog, it would be:

    http://assembling.blogspot.com/feeds/comments/full

    I tried that in Google Reader, and it seemed to work.

    -Alan

  3. 7-7-2007

    Alan, I appreciate this. Good thoughts here that we really are called to have the mentality and practice of looking out for each other. For all practical purposes this seems dead to me in most evangelical circles I’ve known. And I know that’s a general statement, but I think we’re normally weak on this.

  4. 7-7-2007

    Awesome it worked! Many thanks

    Juan

  5. 7-7-2007

    Ted,

    I agree! We need to “look out for each other”… that is a great way to put it! Why do we do this? Because we care about one another… we’re family… we’re closer than family.

    -Alan

  6. 6-10-2011

    Very wise words from your friend. In the church, God’s mission is greater than us getting our own way (which is often the reason we do crazy things) and we should be able to express the truth in love to each other when we see someone who needs help. Expressing Him requires that we submit to His life in us through Christ. Since we’re fallen, we don’t always do this and need brothers and sisters who will lovingly remind us.