God in his essential nature shows us he is relational. There is deep and profound relationship within the Trinity. And as we are made in his image it should not surprise us that we work best in relationship also.
God said everything else was good when he looked at creation except when he saw man alone.
I have come more and more to see this principle at work and as key in local church life. Sometimes we might not have everything slick and professional (though it is nice when a planned idea works); sometimes we might not feel on ‘tip top’ form and full of Holy Spirit power (though God is always more willing to give than we are often to receive).
The wonderful fact though is that at times the presence of God is found most profoundly after a Sunday morning meeting over a cup of tea or coffee as two brothers or sisters in Christ share their hearts with each other. The pressures, joys or trials of their current situation. An arm round the shoulder, some practical help, a prayer for healing, some word of advice or encouragement or even correction out of concern.
No Resurrection tour!
Jesus when he rose from the dead could have begun with a resurrection tour, a book maybe, or a conference. Instead he went out of his way to find a broken hearted Mary who was weeping over his loss and he ministered to her. Such was the beginning of his apostolic strategy to take the gospel to the world.
|This week I had the joy of being in several contexts where relationship was a highly prized value. The latest ‘prayer and vision’ day for the churches in the east of England was held at the quite idyllic setting of the stables in Wymondham. What a joy to join in heartfelt seeking after God together in prayer. To be in a room with people who love God and show it and love each other and show it in fervent prayer and genuine affection for each other.
The mission we are on flows out of relationship that we have together in Christ and therefore with each other – relationships on a mission! I love these times, we do them three or four times a year, and to pray together I believe in unity of relationship to the God of heaven ushers in his blessing.
I also had the joy of being at the first elder’s day of the year at LCC my home church. I have been on the four week retreat to pray and study and to be again together with my dear brothers on this journey together of trying our best to lead this wonderful local church family is such a blessing.
These settings have relationships that are honest, they are committed to each other, they work together for each others good, and they even should have enough strength to disagree at times with each other. Freedom to express feelings without having to walk round ‘bumps in the carpet’ is a measure of secure relationship. I am very grateful to God that in all the team settings I presently work in all of this in present in abundance.
It actually makes what we do very alluring to others as the world and even sadly the church can be filled with superficiality.
We must work into the future maximising our emphasis on building through relationships. Maximum relationship / minimum organisation!