How To Morph

I didn't learn at all what I thought I would on our missions trip to Costa Rica over Spring Break.

What I did learn happened to be right in line with what God had been teaching me before I even went.  Weird how He always does that.

When asked why his church hadn't grown in leaps and bounds since it'd been around so long, one of the local pastors said something along the lines of - people don't want it bad enough.  His church demands a lot.  They want to make disciples.  They will love and take in whoever comes, but unless you really want to be a disciple, and want to do what it takes to become one, you probably won't want to stick around very long.

Here's why:  "You will never experience holy transformation until you are involved in regular, loving accountability relationships centered on God's Word."  - Chip Ingram


"Butterflies change in a cocoon.  Christians change in a community.  Both experience shelter.  Both experience struggle.  This is one of the most difficult concepts for American Christians to accept and integrate into their lifestyle.  In other parts of the world, people have a communal concept of life.  Generations stay close or even live with one another.  Not so with mainstream Americans.  We've got that John Wayne mentality: "I can do it myself".  The average American Christian brings that same mentality into his or her relationship with Christ.  He or she things, "It's me, God, my Bible, and prayer.  If I hang around other people, and we encourage each other - that's nice but not necessary."  For American Christians, community is optional.  That's not what the Bible teaches."
- Chip Ingram

I witnessed this in Costa Rica.
Families living practically right on top of each other.
Sharing life.
Cooking from 5am till 7pm - TOGETHER.
Parenting each other's kids.
Staying at church for longer than an hour - GLADLY!
Worshipping without inhibition.
Confessing (with others being able to see).
They knew they needed each other and they received strength from each other!  So should we.

In this book, "The Miracle of Life Change", Chip Ingram devours Ephesians 4.   The verse that supports the idea of community being our cocoon is verse 2:

"Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love"

Each of these attributes is displayed and grown in community.  We can't be patient or gentle or humble alone.

I also heard a message from Beth Moore with these two quotes three days before we left:

"When we quit engaging in the joy in the body of Christ, our problems become insurmountable."

See it again?  The people of Purral, CR live in a nasty neighborhood - they'll admit it.  But, because they are regularly engaging in the joy in the body of Christ - they have hope for their community!  They have a plan and they have the support of their family of believers to go about that plan.






"When we detach ourselves from the problems that the rest of the world is having, we become ineffective."

This one keeps us from the idea that we are to only keep in our Christian community.  These brothers
and sisters in Christ have immersed themselves in the problems that the rest of the world is having - together!  And, from what's happening in the neighborhood so far, they are highly effective.

I think Costa Rica was my Dot To Dot page.

We spent time hearing the goals and feeling the love and family-type atmosphere of fourteen churches with a passion to win Purral, CR (near San Jose) for Jesus.  Often times I couldn't tell who the pastor's family was, there were so many people involved closely with him they all just blended.  We felt the love of the people in another nearby church who performed a thirty minute display of song, dance, and drama for our enjoyment - then gave us homemade tamales as we left!  Another made a spread of authentic Costa Rican food (fried plantains are amazing, by the way), and gathered their church family together just to meet us!  They wanted us to join with them in community!  The playground we put in was for the purpose of drawing kids in the community to come play and then, hopefully, keep going up the driveway right on into church.  They were inviting others to share in life with them!  And, to morph.

"The God of the Bible is the God who lives in relationships and who brings about holy transformation as we also live in relationship." - Ingram

Let's take a lesson from our brothers and sisters in Costa Rica and practice bearing with one another, supporting each other, and sharing life!   I'll even make you fried plantains (perfected or not).




Comments

  1. Kimi, you hit the nail on the head - thanking for sharing! Vic

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wondeful insights Kimi! Thanks. It was a joy serving with you and your family in CR. Mike

    ReplyDelete

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