Spoiler alert, Sam will stream this month’s vlog on Sunday@6pm, but we’re introducing it here first. This month we are looking at what it means to be Passionate about People.
I think it’s fair to say that this is pretty uncontroversial, even Mr Grumpy (on a good day) would agree we love people.
I love people, I’m all about the people, I want to include people, journey together, share ideas, champion each other. At least, until that starts slowing me down being able to actually get something done.
So how do we keep valuing people more than our own agendas and activities, and why bother in the first place?
Each one of us is made, created by God. I love how King David in the Bible’s Old Testament describes it in his Psalm 139. You can feel the intimacy with which David knows God’s love for him, as this poem pours out his thanks back to God:
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand – when I awake, I am still with you.”Psalm 139:13-18
Stop and let that sink in for a moment.
The Almighty God who hung stars, ginormous balls of fire, in space, also formed each bone in my body. It’s too big to get our heads around in one sitting. And then if you consider, He did the same for each person living now, past and future. The apparently beautiful and ugly, the kind and the arrogant, every colour, background and voice. The mind boggles.
And it doesn’t stop with God having formed our physicality, our bodies. He formed our purpose and destiny, giving each one a role and place on this earth. To be loved and to love.
As a community of those who love our Creator God, we can’t not love those around us, including ourselves. It is our calling. And if this is what is expected of each one of us, then surely as a gathered community, we must continue to do that. And let our gathering be shaped by the people, names and faces that make it up. The purpose of the community, must be shaped by and reflect the collective purpose of those that make it up.
In our community of church, we want to keep that central, that there is space for each one to express and flourish in all that God has set in them, and as a community we cheer each other on and support that. We intentionally allow this to shape the way we ‘do church,’ how we gather, what we prioritise. It’s the heartbeat of all that we are and do.
It’s also a challenge.
Whenever people come together they annoy each other and have to lay down individual agendas to take on a collective one. But it is beautiful, and it is the mark of the church. Jesus said “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
Tune in this Sunday@6pm on Facebook Live to hear Sam talk more about this and follow the next 2 blogs as we explore it further. You can also catch up on our exploring our Vision and first value of being Defined by Dependence on God here.