A few weeks back, I was involved in a [continuing] conversation regarding the definition of community. The realization has come that, done correctly, discipleship breeds community and evangelism. Evangelism breeds community and discipleship. Of course, community is supposed to breed evangelism and discipleship.
Consider the words of Keith Miller from his ‘Scent of Love’:
“The early church grew not because of the spiritual gifts of Christians, and not because Christianity was a palatable doctrine but because they had discovered the secret of community. Generally they did not have to lift a finger to evangelise. Someone would be walking down a back alley in Ephesus and would see a group of people sitting together talking about the strangest of things – something about a man, a tree and an execution and an empty tomb. What they were talking about made no sense to the onlooker. But there was something about the way they spoke to one another, about the way they looked at one another, about the way they cried together, about the way they laughed together, the way they touched one another that was strangely appealing. It gave off the scent of love. The onlooker would start to drift farther down the alley, only to be pulled back to this group like a bee to a flower. He would listen some more, still not understanding, and start to drift away again. But again he would be pulled back, thinking, I don’t have the slightest idea what these people are talking about, but whatever it is I want part of it.”
In my deepest being, that is what I long for. To be a part of that community…anyone want in?