A few weeks back, we tackled the problematic text of Acts 5 with Ananias and Sapphira. And yet we saw the church grow out of this experience and lead people to Jesus.
Lives were transformed, miracles were performed, and new ministries were commissioned. In fact, this unfortunate situation with Ananias and Sapphira drew the church closer to God.
Healthy and growing churches have faith in God and through God in one another.
It is so easy when conflict and crisis occur to turn to what we know best, ourselves, and how we think we ought to handle things. But what we see from the church was a willingness to turn to God for guidance and leadership.
As Richard Rohr put it, “Faith is not for overcoming obstacles; it is for experiencing them—all the way through!”
Faith is believing and having confidence that God will guide us through all that we experience.
And yet, faith also begins before we come to that crisis or precipice of change. Faith is nurtured through the ongoing process of spiritual formation together as a faith community. As we invest time in reading God’s word, praying, and discussing its implications for our life, we are brought to a more dynamic trust in God.
When we have faith in God and through God in one another, we come to a place of mutual trust in decisions being made, visions being cast, and strategies being implemented.
When we have faith in God and through God in one another, we relinquish our desire to control, manipulate, thwart, and doubt because we know that the people around us are leading with integrity.
When we have faith in God and through God in one another, the time we invest in one another pays off as we have a greater understanding of how each of us works, how individuals communicated, how we bring our motives, and the sharing of the goodness of each other’s heart.
When we have faith in God and through God in one another, we are willing to process, heal, and grow together through conflict, hurdles, missteps, and crisis.
When we have faith in God and through God in one another, we walk hand-in-hand to discover what God is doing next and how we might be a part of it together.
As the great Thomas Merton put it, “You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”
As we continue in this Strategic Growth Initiative, may we draw closer to God and one another.