by Robert Lovatt
Our June edition of Living Words featured the theme of Kingdom Partnerships. As a follow-up to this theme we have chosen Kingdom Communities for this edition. God has called us all into community and we have the responsibility to ensure that we are an effective part of the communities that God has called us to participate in.
Many of the partnerships that we participate in are part of much bigger and wider communities that are, in turn, part of God’s kingdom. In this edition we will be showcasing some of the communities that He has called us as an organisation to be a part of.
But before you read about some of the communities featured, allow me to preface these stories with some explanation of what we mean when we talk about Kingdom Communities.
In Scripture we see that God not only calls us into community, but He has created us for community.
The NIV translates the Hebrew term qahal in the Old Testament as assembly or community and often refers to Israel. For example
May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples (Genesis 28:3).
The Hebrew term eda in the Old Testament is translated in the NIV as congregation, community, or assembly and occasionally with the focus on unity of the community. For example
Moses assembled the whole Israelite community and said to them, “These are the things the Lord has commanded you to do …” (Exodus 35:1).
In the New Testament we gain a sense of God’s community that has fellowship with the Father through Christ. This provides a focus of unity in the body of Christ, as people love and care for each other.
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me… (John 17:20–23, NIV).
Our desire for community has deep biblical, theological and missiological roots. We participate in God’s mission because of our communion with the triune God and our fellowship within the body of Christ. We are community because we joyfully share a common life in Christ.
We hope you are enriched and enthused as you read the following articles that showcase some examples of Kingdom Communities that God has created and called us to participate in.
Serving together, in Kingdom Community,