All In: Loving (Community)

There was an era of missionary zeal around the turn of the 20th century that bred a group who became known as “one-way” missionaries. When they departed for the mission field they packed all of their belongings into a coffin and bought one-way tickets because they knew they’d never return home.

A.W. Milne was one of those missionaries. He felt called to a tribe of headhunters in the New Hebrides.

All the other missionaries to this tribe had been martyred, but Milne didn’t shrink back into safe Christianity. He lived among the tribe for 35 years, found favor, and never returned home. The tribe buried him and wrote the following words on his tombstone, “When he came there was no light. When he left there was no darkness.”

There is something so inviting, so attractive about being an ALL IN person!

A lot of people invite Jesus come and be with them. But Jesus said, “Come and follow me.” Jesus was going somewhere. He had a plan. A design. A mission. He had a map of where he and his followers were to go and he invited his followers to follow him.

We’ve started a new series called “ALL IN” and we’re destroying the idea that you can live a “half-committed” life to God and church and be all that God wants you to be. Jesus led his followers in at least four profound ways: LOVING, SERVING, GIVING, AND GROWING.

100% “ALL IN” LOVING means that we are committed to God-honoring relationships with other Christians. We’ll meet, pray, and encourage each other on a consistent basis.

Before two people joined hands, exchanged vows, and gave rings in a marriage commitment ceremony, they were passionate FIRST, then became committed. But those of us who are married know that it’s the other way around if you want to stay married! Your commitment fuels your passion! If you wait to become passionate about relationships in your church, but remain uncommitted to developing strong relationships, then your interest will wane. But, if you’re 100% committed to your relationships, you’ll become passionate about keeping those relationships strong.

Jesus was devoted to the 12 disciples. He had a special devotion to Peter, James, and John. He had a special devotion to John. Even Jesus saw the value of godly friendships. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another (John 13:34).

The early church, in Acts 2, “devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:10, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

NorthCreek….imagine what a group of “ALL IN” LOVING people could do? Imagine the impact that we could make! Our inner life would flourish because we’d buy in to being sold out for Christ! Imagine a group of people who are so devoted to one another that the world around us would want some of that! Imagine a group of people that laughed when you laughed. Cried when you cried. Rejoiced when you rejoiced!

NorthCreek is about COMMUNITY, MEANING, AND MISSION. Being devoted to community is just the beginning! There’s more in store…but it’s the place we start. Life is about relationships. May we become all that God has in store for us!

Posted on September 17, 2013 and filed under All In.