Community in Action, Bonhoeffer-style:
If you were to ask me to give you a “top ten” list of the most important ministry books I’ve ever read, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together would be near the top. Perhaps at the top. As we consider how to serve as a body, let these words echo in your heart:
“In a Christian community everything depends upon whether each individual is an indispensable link in a chain. Only when even the smallest link is securely interlocked is the chain unbreakable. A community which allows unemployed members to exist within it will perish because of them. It may be well, therefore, if every member receives a definite task to perform for the community, that he may know in hours of doubt that he, too, is not useless and unusable. Every Christian community must realize that not only do the weak need the strong, but also that the strong cannot exist without the weak. The elimination of the weak is the death of fellowship.”
-Bonhoeffer, Life Together, 94.
Leaders, how are we delegating tasks, putting people in place, encouraging them to be active?
Members, how are you seeing needs and meeting them?
The issue is, this creates conflict. But Jesus designed conflict to bring us to himself. In a discussion of being interrupted by a “trifling” need of our brother, Bonhoeffer suggested we may be facing “…the Cross raised athwart our path…” (99). I defy you to find aa better line than "the cross raised athwart our path."
For “[i]t is only when he is a burden that another person is really a brother and not merely an object to be manipulated.” (100)
I'm happy to announce that I've been a brother often. Join me.