07 Mar LIVING TOGETHER
At YWAM Tokyo we share life together as a part of a Christian community. This is really good; We attempt to live out Christ’s new commandment of loving one another and demonstrating unity within his body. We are a massive mishmash of personalities, nations and denominations all under this thing called Youth with a Mission (Just a teeny tiny portion of the Church). Unity amongst diversity! We worship together, we pray together and although, not all of us share each other’s gifts and talents and ministries, we are a united together as one body.
1 Corinthian 12:12- For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
This can be a challenge… We are, after all, a crazy contrast of different nations, with different language barriers, different personalities and denominations with differing theological and doctrinal perspectives. Community isn’t exactly an easy task. Our life is far from perfect, yet, by the grace of God, it is very very good. I have learnt so much from my brothers and sisters in Christ whom I love and actually quite like too. The fact we get to be a unified team in Japan is extra special too because God wants to bring unity to the Church in Japan!
“If you scorn the fellowship of the brethren, you reject the call of Jesus Christ, and thus your solitude can only be hurtful to you.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Often times I have the tendency to withdraw. This is not necessarily a bad thing, many of us are introverted and even Jesus would spend time alone with God (Matthew 14:13, Luke 5:16, Mark 1:35). We all need to recharge and do quiet time but we also need fellowship. We need to pursue deep relationships with other Christians in the Church. The accountability we can get from them, helps us grow and mature as Christians.
The main offence we can have against community, if it is a healthy one, is it involves dying to ourselves. We like things done our way and people always come into the way of how that way should be… But that’s part of discipleship. We aren’t meant to stay the same but to be moulded into God’s image and bear the fruits of the spirit. Sometimes God teaches us patience…
Part of our vision statement at YWAM Tokyo is to “pursue relationship with the Lord (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)” and “actively choose to walk in whole-hearted loving relationships” That’s awesome! This means not only do we want to really really love (With all our heart, soul, mind and strength) the triune God, but we also seek encourage others to do the same as we pursue whole-hearted relationships. What a blessing to be part of a community that challenges me to become more like Christ and calls me to a higher place whenever I stumble.
What’s the point of being a community? Can’t we all just have our own houses and meet up on a Sunday instead of being together 24/7? What’s the big deal? It seems to me that God uses the Church most when we share in life together:
Acts 2:42-47 ESV
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
So yeah, just some thoughts on the benefit of living life together and having deep relationships with Christians! Let’s seek first his Kingdom and love one another so that Japan will come to know the Lord.
See Tom Wilcox Blog