Following Jesus - At All Levels
You’ve likely seen a set of Russian nesting dolls, where a set of little wooden dolls all stack into the next size up until the entire set fits into the largest one. (They even have a cameo appearance in Toy Story…). I was talking with a friend recently trying to describe how there are several layers of walking with Jesus that all fit together. They really do fit into each other as a coordinated whole.
– At the smallest level, there’s you and God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is where you personally trust in Him and Jesus’ work for your salvation. At this smallest level you read your Bible (hopefully every day), pray, and hopefully, you’ve learned to journal.
– The next level up is your closest circle of friends or your family. Even with 12 disciples, Jesus had Peter, James and John. If you’re married, this is where you follow Jesus with your spouse – and if you have them, with your children. If you’re single, this is where you have 2 or 3 friends that help you stay faithful, iron sharpening iron.
– The next step up is your community group. At Trinity, this is where I believe our best work gets done as a church. You need a community of friends to help you grow and learn, to repent and believe in an on-going way. And they need you! In our highly privatized culture today, this is likely the most radical step against our world’s way of living.
– At the next level is our entire congregation. This is the most familiar level to our culture. It’s also where we see a larger spread of gifts. As people with a wide variety of talents, abilities and resources, we share together for a larger impact than any single believer could produce.
– But there’s another level beyond a congregation. It’s where we see that we’re actually part of a larger movement. It’s where we see churches, ministries, even groups of denominations in league together to advance the cause of Jesus whether in our city, county, state, nation or even globally.
Every level matters. And if you think about it, you know that being only a privatized believer (without being part of other relationships) isn’t healthy. Nor is it a mark of wholeness if you’re at the large meetings but you do not befriend any other believers, or if you have little or no personal faith in Jesus.
We expect God to work in and through us personally as well as through other believers. And thinking about how we connect and coordinate with other believers, I want to pass along some good news. Our staff has grown by two in the New Year. Our new Communications Assistant, Ashley Moats, and Assistant Director of Student Ministry, Brown Peterson, joined the Trinity team on January 2nd. We are excited to bring them on board as we grow our Student Ministry and overall church life. If you’re at our offices, stop by and introduce yourself.
Things to pray for:
– Self-awareness. Ask the Father to give you insight into how He’s made you, and how you tend to live. Pray for wisdom to be self-aware and for the courage to live faithfully even where it stretches you.
– Faith in Jesus. Ask Him to help you move beyond where you’re comfortable to grow at the levels where you’re most resistant, whether it be at the smallest, most personal practices, or at the larger levels where you’re called into relationships with people that you naturally resist.
– Our new staff members, Ashley Moats and Brown Peterson. Ask the Lord to help them adjust their new roles at Trinity, and pray that their work with us is fruitful.