Do you value COMMUNITY?

I’m reminded today of the story in Mark 2 when Jesus heals the paralytic man that was brought to him to be healed.  This guys friends couldn’t get in the front door, so they climbed up on the roof, cut a hole in it, and lowered their friend down to Jesus to be healed.  Jesus responded by forgiving him of his sins, and by telling him to get up and walk!  The man leaves completely changed.

I remember hearing a message on this story years ago that didn’t focus on Jesus’ power to forgive and to heal, but focused on the faith of this guys friends.  They believed that Jesus could heal their friend, and they weren’t going to let a crowded room keep them from getting their friend to Jesus.

Their faith put their friend in position to be healed by Jesus.  Their faith caught Jesus’ attention.  Their faith wasn’t limited to what was convenient and what was conventional.  They carried their friend to Jesus and to Life.

This is an incredible image of “Community”.  People caring for each other at all costs.  People risking themselves for a friend.  Faith and love that drives you to do something bizarre.  Community.

Do you value community?  I’m talking about “real” community where people go out of their way to support, encourage and share life with others.  I’m talking about “real” community where people can be honest and vulnerable and genuine.  I’m talking about “real” community where there’s safety, where there’s comfort and where there’s acceptance.  Do you have that?

Again, I remember being challenged with this question:   “If you were laying on that stretcher, hurting and in trouble, do you have people that would come to carry you to help and healing?  Who’s stretcher would you carry?  Who would you drop everything for?

Today, think about your “community”.  Invest in these relationships.  Look for ways to serve and care those in your community.  Build a foundation of trust and relationship.

There will be a time when you’re going to need this community.  Don’t be standing alone.

Russ Cline has wide experience in church, mission, and global leadership. Beginning in the local church in Southern California, then moving to Ecuador for 16 years to be a part of launching three distinct organizations, Russ is now back in Southern California working with Extreme Response International in providing leadership coaching and organizational development to leaders around the world.

Russ’ passion is to come alongside organizations and to help them identify areas of growth, focus and change, resulting in greater impact and effectiveness.

Russ graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business and Christian Education and completed his graduate work in Organizational Development. He has been married for 30 years to Gina, and they have three kids: Rheanna, Riley and Raylin.

To learn more about Russ, visit: www.russellcline.com

Write directly to Russ at: rcline@extremeresponse.org

www.extremeresponse.org

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