Jesus modelled an amazingly balanced life – he was always looking outwards to the outsider: reaching out topeople beyond his group with time, meals, serving and speaking the gospel butat the same time he built deep relationships inside a worshipping community, helping each of his friends to growin their discipleship and commitment to God and one another. But perhaps the reasonhe was so fruitful in both these things was that he continued to look ‘upwards’ to his Father and was carefulto maintain and invest in a deep and rich relationship with God.
This threefold commitmentin many ways embodies what Jesus describes as the greatest commandments and asthe way of the church..
- To lovethe Lord our God with all our heart (Mark 12:30)
- To loveone another (John 13:35)
- To GO outto our neighbours and all the world and tell them the good news of Jesus(Matt 28:19;Mark 16:15).
Experience shows that most churches will be naturally strong in one or two of these areas but there are dangers that go with neglecting any one of those three dynamics.
Mostchurches (and people!) are naturally strong in one direction or another(usually this reflects our gifts and passions). But, being part of the wider bodyof Christ gives us an opportunity to avoid become unbalanced and ensure health.
Creating balance is a matter of being intentional (just likeJesus! ) of making space of other gifts and of being willing to invite in helpto strengthen us where we need it.
Questions for our local church…
Using UP-IN-OUT consider..
- Celebrate the good: these are things to rejoice in!
- Respond to the gaps!