International (MNN) – We know that community within the Body of Christ is extremely important. But as our world becomes more interconnected and globalized, what community looks like is rapidly changing. Wycliffe Bible Translators USA is one organization trying to get in front of that curve with how they approach community both within missions and in everyday life.
They’re currently running a campaign called, “A Call to Community.” Kelly Chesnut of Wycliffe USA says the campaign is all about asking, ‘What does it look like to be part of God’s global community?’”
She says, “Through this campaign, we’re exploring the incredible way that God brings Christians together, in community, across cultural boundaries, and ‘how can we learn more about his character through relationships with people from cultures different than our own?’”
You see, exploring how we interact with people of different cultures is no longer something that’s reserved for people traveling to other countries. It’s an experience available right at home.
“The world is coming to us everywhere,” Chesnut says. “You don’t have to go overseas to interact with another culture. So, how do we as believers respond to one another in a way that promotes community and promotes the glory of God in the creation of his people and the creation of culture and language?”
Chesnut explains that community is both influenced by and influences our relationship with God. It’s extremely important for the vitality of one’s faith walk. As part of this campaign, Wycliffe is offering helpful resources that encourage intentional community.
They are offering a seven-day devotional, a video of one missionary family’s story on community and culture, as well as several articles including 7 People who Changed the World.
“This is about changing our perspective, asking God to reveal his plan. We have this perspective of asking God to reveal his plan for our life. But we want to change that to asking God what his plan is for the world, and how we fit into it.”
From Martin Luther to Billy Graham, the article looks at what we can learn from historical figures who impacted thousands of lives and began global movements among the Church.
Some of the other articles focus on learning about other cultures and ways we can support the Church around the world.
“Because God designed us to live in community with each other, sometimes we’re not able to meet people in person, but we can create a meaningful connection by praying for people around the world,” Chesnut says.
Wycliffe encourages people to adopt a Bible-less people group to pray for on a regular basis.
The Gospel lived out in community
So, we can recognize that the global Body of Christ is connected across cultures and countries—but why does it matter?
Living in community helps us to see each other the way that God does. And when we have his heart for people, we’re more likely to live like him, too.
“As we start viewing each other through the lens of the Scriptures, I believe that that gives glory and honor to God. We want to see ourselves—our very lives—reflect the liberating truth and grace that we have in Jesus Christ. And, as we step into that and respond in ways that reflect that grace, I believe that the Body of Christ is built up. Community is expressed as Christ is honored.”
Christians living in healthy, loving community are more likely to make an impact on the world around them. Living out the Gospel happens within community. And it’s from community where we begin to reach out to those who don’t yet know Jesus.
Chesnut says it comes down to living as the hands and feet of Jesus as we demonstrate how the Gospel has changed us.
To view the resources available through “Call to Community” click here. To adopt a Bible-less people group to pray for, click here.