I’ve been leading a Confirmation experience at Clarksville with six youth from Clarksville and one from Olive Branch. It has been a great joy to spend time with the young people and their mentors. Planning Confirmation always makes me consider the most important elements of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I was sharing with them my very quick summary of much of the Old Testament the other evening. Here is a conclusion that I want to share with you. God’s desire was to build a faithful community that was so loving and just that they would be a light to the nations. It was God’s hope that all the other nations of the world would take notice and imitate the Israelites and build loving, just communities in their locations. When Jesus came to earth, he too, worked to build community through relationships. He would go off to pray by himself occasionally but mostly, he spent his time teaching people, especially his closest disciples how to love God and love others. God’s desire for people to be in community is why an important aspect of the Vision Teams’ work focused on building relationships with our neighbors.
There are many of our neighbors who aren’t connected with a community of love. We need to become their friends so that we can invite them into community in a way that will make their lives better. This might be through special events like craft nights, family fun nights or other special events. It is why we will offer such things as DivorceCare and Financial Peace University again—places to have a common interest/need and connect with others. We dream that our churches will be busy places with many ways to connect with the wants and needs of our community. Once people have become comfortable being in a loving welcoming community of one kind, we might just have planted the seeds that will invite them to join our worshiping community and become a disciple of Jesus Christ. And that, is our ultimate calling: to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
Hoping you’ll join us in this adventure! Debbie