Our desire is to help each one experience real life in Christ together with others. To accomplish this, we need to pursue the spiritual formation of each and everyone whom God brings into RLCC. Spiritual formation can only happen when each person is experiencing discipleship, nurturing relationships, and apostolic mission. We call this the DNA of RLCC. It’s important that everyone understands this, and is pursuing this, especially those who are part of overseeing or starting Real Life Christian Communities.
First, each person in RLCC must experience discipleship (D). By this, we mean, each person is learning how to follow Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord both faithfully and fruitfully. To fulfill this, we need to provide adequate teaching of God’s word so that everyone can know the will of God. We’re doing this through our various teaching and preaching environments. But more than this, we want each person in RLCC to receive spiritual direction on an individual basis from someone who can assist them in their journey of faith. Someone must be available to give them comfort, attention, reconciliation, and encouragement (CARE). This person must walk alongside them in life to co-discern with them what the Holy Spirit is doing in their lives so that they can respond faithfully. If this is being done well, the result can be seen in people’s lives in terms of change in affections (Acts 2:42-47), commitment to the Lord and to RLCC as their local church, and a Christ-centered self-identity (Phil 3:1-14). When this is not happening, a lot of loving interventions will have to be implemented.
Second, each person in RLCC must experience nurturing relationships. There are three kinds of relationships where we want each person in RLCC to experience love and learn how to show love also (1 John 3:11-18): Family, Friendships, and Future Spouses. We want families to learn how to grow in love in a Christ-centered way. That’s why we want everyone to learn how to keep the Sabbath. We also want to create circles of friendships based on the “one another’s” of Scripture. We want to do this in and through our LIFE Groups, Task Groups, and other small groups. We want these groups to meet regularly and to have healthy activities that build up one another. Last, we want those who are planning to have their own families someday to learn how to practice true Christ-centered love during courtship (i.e. Future Spouses). In other words, we want each person in RLCC, as part of their spiritual formation, to learn how to receive and give love to others. When this is happening correctly, our people will experience life-giving relationships. When it’s not happening, a lot of conflicts, dysfunctions, and immorality will occur.
Third, each person in RLCC must experience apostolic mission (A). By this we mean, each person must be exposed to ministries that would challenge them to serve others. Living an other-centered life is what we want to see in all our members. We are creating more and more outreaches and ministry initiatives so that people can have various options where they can serve. Leaders must challenge their community members to serve in our outreaches, church planting activities, and other ministries. When this is happening well, we will see proper stewardship of time, talents, and treasures, engagement in life-changing ministries, and leadership development. When this is not happening, our people will just be interested in experiencing comfort and/or live unproductive lives.
To fulfill our mission, we must join hands in making sure that there is DNA in all our communities, departments, outreaches, and church planting activities, and that each member is experiencing discipleship, nurturing relationships, and apostolic mission. After reading this, please share at least one insight or realization in the comments below. Also, please share this with others in your community who need to understand who we are and what we’re trying to accomplish by God’s grace.