Community & Service – a reflection

My name is Joshua Robinson. I’m 20 and a LIFE Leadership College student. I’m a barista and a believer…a good brew if you ask me.

I have been a part of the Community team for the last two years, specifically a part of the team that attends the Urban Vineyard Lunchtime Community. We are a community that gathers on a Wednesday lunchtime. We share faith and food together. Now, not all of us have the basic necessities of life – many have very little, and some, nothing… but we do have each other and we enjoy taking time out to talk and eat together. The purpose? Well, simply put, to be one. When I ask myself what community is, I can’t help but simply see it this way; a gathering of people in common unity.

But what makes our community different? The world is full of communities, all based on various interests and intents. I believe what makes our community group different can be seen in the bible, in the book of Acts:

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place” (Acts 2:1 NIV).

What takes place next is the focal point of the difference and power of our community:

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.” (Acts 2:5 6 NIV)

When you think about it, it’s actually so cool that the founding of the early Church community came together and spoke one language. Now, the last time humans spoke in one language there was such unification they built the tower of Babel which lead to their sin.  God had to divide them by confusing their language. On the positive side and used correctly – Common unity has power…and when channelled through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can let the kingdom of heaven be built on this earth. So how can we play our part in this mission?

Life can be pretty busy and I don’t know about you, but my plate can get pretty full sometimes (and in typical student fashion; procrastination is a problem.) Life is demanding! When these demands flood our lives, it can be easy to let them sweep us away. Though at the same time, if we don’t keep swimming, it’s so easy to drown in our worry. In the pace of it all, it’s easy to feel isolated. Often we can set our eyes on being humans who just do, do, and do. Though sometimes our doing becomes so task orientated that we forget to just BE. We’re human BEings after all. As a LIFE  Leadership College student, I am given the opportunity to be a part of LIFE (Church), which has a huge heart for people and a huge vision for impact. The 20/20 vision that our Senior Pastors carry… it’s crazy! The growth we are all believing for won’t happen purely by having a million meetings (and a lot of coffee)! In fact, I think I know the gist of the secret… it seems that it happens through a lot of intentionality, and a lot of hard work. Though we want everything to be ‘excellent’ and in the pace to continually strive for this as our essence, it’s people that are the true priority. Thus, we find the purpose of our push towards 20/20; to allow people to be and be all they can be.

So, what does this all mean to me? I get to be a part of something that’s built together by sets of hands, and not just my hands. To be involved in a community means I don’t just get to do some ‘stuff’ for people, I get to be amongst people doing ‘stuff’ for each other. I get to be me, beyond what I can just do. I get to be me, as others are them. I get to see that there is more than just me and my worries. Coming together in community brings perspective; it makes you realise that the idea of more isn’t in how we can individually gain more. But rather that more is found in the coming together of one people. One people after the true promised land of more: to BE community – united in the Father’s heart.

Joshua Robinson
Student
LIFE Leadership College

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