28 May Identity + Community
“Identity” is one of the most foundational aspects of community, just as it is for a person. Depending on what that identity is based on, it will make or break the people in that community. As Angie shared in last months blog post, our base is in a time of re-pioneering and identity is a huge part of that. As a base-family, we are working together to remind ourselves of who God has asked us to be and expecting to also hear what new things God wants to establish.
The first step was recognizing the strengths that God has already established in our community. The traits that came up very clearly were our love for God and our desire to show the people around us His love in a practical and meaningful way. We aspire to make each person who comes into contact with our community feel loved and valued. It’s something that we have been discipled in and it’s something we want to see spread! We are all about that John 13:35 passage; they will know we’re Christians because we love like Christ loves us.
The second step was a bit scarier. Dreaming with God can sometimes seem risky because you don’t know what will happen. Often times, the dreams that God gives us seem overwhelmingly big. We had a whiteboard full of ideas and dreams, things none of us can accomplish on our own. It was awe-inspiring! These dreams showed me what God values and wants to grow me in; reaching out to the hurting, the poor, the lonely and showing them a love so outrageously good it could only be Christ. I’m not sure how these dreams will look but I know God’s heart and I’m excited to see this community run with God’s dreams.
Healthy identity is founded in truth and what greater truth is there than what Jesus says about us? I’d like to clarify that we choose to find our identity in what we believe, rather than in what we do. We’ve been seeking to discover what God believes about us, come into agreement with that and find new ways to live it out in Japan. Our missions work is the practical outcome of what we believe. The way that we love God and love our neighbors is only made possible by first knowing who God made us to be. It’s going to be an ongoing process, so I invite you to partner with us in asking God to show us more of His dreams for Japan and for our community. I’m excited to live out the truths God is showing us!
Sam Bedford (Media Team Member)