A dear friend of mine sent me a great quote that I think drives home the point that–to the degree that we have opportunity–it is always better to do things together than on our own.
This idea, that we must do mission together, in a company of men and women whom we trust and love (we called this the “covenant community” in chapter 9 of The 2:10 Project) is emphasized here:
In addressing my readers as individuals, trying as best I can to single them out and search their hearts before God, I fail to show that it is only as one gives oneself in human relationships, in the home, in friendships, with neighbors, as members of Christian groups and teams–in relationships that go sometime right and sometimes wrong, as all our relationships do–that experiential knowledge of God become real and deep. For ordinary people, to be a hermit is not the way!
The buttoned-up Christian “loner” who keeps aloof and reads books like this (or just the Bible!) may pick up true notions of God as well as anyone else may, but only the Christian sharer , who risks being hurt in order to take and give the maximum in fellowship and who sometimes does get hurt as a result, ever knows much of God himself in experiential terms.
This perspective, so clear in the Psalms (to which, perhaps, my book should be seen as a preamble, or maybe a footnote), is so vital that I am very much at fault for not having made more of it. But if groups use this study guide, as is intended, that in itself may yet induce the necessary open and mutually committed lifestyle which I failed to mark out in the exposition. I hope and pray so, anyway.”
Here is the interesting thing about this quote: It was written perhaps 30 years ago as a part of the small group guide to J.I. Packer’s Knowing God. As Packer was writing the small group guide, as this quote shows, it occurred to him that his message about how to know God was missing this important component–community.
We have tried to make The 2:10 Project the ideal tool to experience together in community, whether that is between a husband and wife, among small group members, as a church staff team or group of business leaders, or informal gathering of a few friends.
May God lead each of us into a strong and healthy community of men and women who, though not perfect, are leaning into God’s design for all of life, including the life of the Body of Christ.