Friend Geoff Lawson recently posted these thoughts on Twitter (they were retweets from the music pastor at the church he serves):
“When we #ownit, all who claim Christ enter the Kingdom through Him. We are then gathered together as His people.
When we #ownit, we understand that we are members of a flock. We belong to Jesus & are dedicated to those who also claim Him.
When we #ownit, we see the sheep make the flock. Everyone contributes to the whole, interconnected community.
When we #ownit, we take our part seriously in being healthy, active & participating. Everyone’s contribution matters.”
Here are my thoughts:
When we #ownit, we take joy in the invitations to participate in community with one another. We step outside of ourselves and our silos, out of our territorial selfishness because we anticipate learning and growing together. We understand that we have things to offer others, and they have things to offer us.
Paul’s instruction to the church in Romans and 1 Corinthians is clear. We are called to work together. And yet, these instructions are within the context of Jesus, whose instructions and call to both relationship and discipleship come in the form of INVITATION. Jesus invites us to join Him, then the church invites others to join us as we join Him.
One of the incredible things about this invitation is that if it is accepted, all benefit. The (so-called) individuals benefit because they take hold of God’s giftedness and truly live how they were meant to live. The Body of Christ, the church, benefits because we are many, yet one, focusing singularly on Jesus and others.
If the invitation is not accepted, then the church (lower-case) will simply degenerate into turf-wars and lines in the sand. Pride and arrogance will reign and others will see this, having their opinions, about the church, confirmed and also decline the invitation.
The church will grow, and Christ alone will be magnified, when we choose to leave behind our own desires and designs, both our pride AND our false humility accept His invitation to be part of the community that He offers and empowers. Jesus gives those in the church an open invitation to know Him and others in the body.
We decline at our peril, and accept to His glory.