I have blogged and written on this passage many times before; it is a favorite for how I see the church community relating to each other. I ran across some old notes from a book I read by Larry Crabb, The Safest Place on Earth. Several thoughts came to me as I decided whether to keep the notes, put them in electronic form or throw them away. Here is the one that caught my attention. This passage in Hebrews commands us to stir the flame of faith in others so that they can go through dark nights or pleasant mornings with their eyes fixed on an unseen reality. Here are the rest:
- Community does not equal church. That is, just because a group of people are formed together and meet regularly does not mean that they are experiencing community. Community is the place where God takes a group of people who are united behind a common vision, are open and honest with each other, are saturated in the word, and are willing to speak to each other in redemptive ways. Our sanctification and final salvation are indeed a community project!
- We are good at forming crowds, clubs, group, but not communities. Formation of community is intricately hard and painful yet it is a creation of the Spirit.
- We are not to do church but be the church.
- God gives the Spirit and miracles both in them and among them not because they are clever to make it happen but because they revel in and are in dependance upon and learn to hear Spriit voice (Gal. 3:5).
- Disappointment and confusion leads to openness.