Within Communitas we value Kingdom Seeking, which includes a life of worship and passionate devotion to Christ.
I grew up in a denominational church. In so many ways I’m thankful for the rich Christian heritage this church passed along to me. I learned scripture from godly men and women in Sunday School, and came to an early understanding of following Christ through the youth program.
Only as an adult can I look back and interpret what felt wrong to me at the time. I remember a big argument breaking out when an audacious group of anti-traditionalists suggested that the church change the font on the Sunday bulletin from the gothic script to a more modern version. Yep. An argument over the font on the bulletin. Passionate defense of tradition clashed swords with equally passionate contemporaries. Over the years, I’ve discovered plenty of examples of this kind of passion in other churches:
A church that built a new youth center, but passionately opposed young people riding skateboards on the property. A church was passionate about protecting their congregation from being exploited by homeless people who begged for money on the front steps of the church each Sunday morning, so they built a brick wall extension to block access to the church steps. Problem “solved.” The homeless left to seek help elsewhere. The church that split over the passionate disagreement between having a sanctuary choir or a worship band. The elder who stormed out of the committee meeting over the timing of the offering during the Sunday service.
The list goes on and on. Passionate Christians defending forms of church, styles of worship, material assets and programs, and denominational traditions.
The believer who walks next to Jesus toward maturity will also have passions, but these will reflect things that Jesus was passionate about – things He is still passionate about today. Jesus was passionate about:
The repentant sinner who cried out for mercy. The woman exploited by religious leaders who were using her to make a point. Worship and prayer as key elements within the temple. The sick, wounded, blind, homeless, hurting, hungry, and defenseless people. The glory of God not being usurped by human-based religion.
Recently over 120 of our key Communitas leaders gathered for a few days of learning together. These men and women come from a wide diversity of denominational backgrounds, and they hold diverse positions on a number of theological topics. But all through the event, I saw passionate side-by-side worship of Christ. I saw devotion to His purposes and cares. And just as important, I saw a passion and devotion toward one another that transcended religious forms. Seeking God’s Kingdom together means keeping our eyes on Christ – a passionate pursuit of Him that inspires an open-hearted devotion for each other.
I long to see more passionate believers and churches direct their energies toward Christ. Then I’m quite confident all of those other forms and functions will find their proper place.