This weekend I had the awesome privilege of standing up for a good friend of mine as he committed his life to the amazing woman God brought into his life. This was the most beautiful and amazing wedding I have seen, and all because of the love for Christ that was so evident in so many of the people involved. It was a tiring weekend, but it was one of the most refreshing weekends I have had for a long time. What I experienced was community at its best among a group of friends whose lives have taken different turns but who share a passion for Christ and a life-long love for each other.
I stayed at a house with seven other guys, all of whom love the Lord. Six of them I knew from before, while the seventh I only just met a few weeks ago, but each of them was an encouragement and a refreshment to my soul. The difference in this group of guys was that their love of Christ did not stay within the confines of church-time or their private world. Prayer and talking about the Lord came naturally to these guys. It was a rhythm that they had consciously worked into each part of their everyday lives. Our time together went beyond just hanging out and having a good time; within all of our interactions was an atmosphere of Christ-centered, God glorifying humility. I was able to talk and pray with these guys on a deep level. This was what the church looks like.
So how do I go about bringing that home with me, to the people who maybe aren't as close to me, but who are my brothers and sisters in Christ? Beyond that, how do I bring that heart to my interactions with the world around me? One of the talks I had with one of the guys brought us to the idea of the "slight edge". Basically, it was a book he was reading about the little things that push you over the top in terms of business or sports, but we took that and related it to our lives as Christians. We need to be careful to cultivate the little things in our lives: reading the Word, praying for anything and everything, keeping our hearts on God throughout the day one moment at a time. When we take care to keep the little things in order and to discipline ourselves in those little things, they add up to a bigger advantage; in this case, a heart that is focused on God and ready to bring Him into every aspect of our lives in every ordinary day.
I am convinced that those guys have something amazing: seeds that can change their worlds. They have cultivated their hearts to be ready for what the Holy Spirit has for them to do. They are bringers of real community.