This past weekend I was part of a team from our church to venture deep in the Oregon desert to be challenged about discipleship and potentially learn new models for accomplishing the task in the church.
While I don’t know if the organized event achieved the publicized goal, the time we had in community with the people we do church with was where we found the worth.
I have been to a lot of conferences and retreats with a number of different goals and varied focus and usually the most valuable portion of the experiences is time with those we are in ministry and life with processing what we hear and dreaming of how we can be more Christ-like.
It begs the question if our community is worth the price of admission. Is the church worth being part of or just another social obligation on the calendar? Of course the admission price is going to different everywhere – it could be commitment to a covenant or being part of small group or as simple as claiming you belong. But it costs each of us something to be part of a community.
So what makes the community worth the price? I think I was reminded by my new friend Joy (a new Christian running after community and Christ) this weekend that the only think that makes community or the church worth the price is Jesus – our focus on him as the only affinity the only reason we come together. Pragmatism is not worth the price; I can buy a book on being a better person and learning five steps to success. Jesus and the gospel transformation that he brings into my life and the life of our community is the only thing worth the price of admission – a price which we would gladly pay double…