Daniel Darling, author, pastor, speaker / Posts tagged "friendship"

How to Build Community in Your Church

As a pastor of a small church, I'm particularly sensitive about building a sense of community. I don't think community is just another 21st century buzzword, I think it reflects the body life described for the church in the New Testament. For example, in our latest study of the Lord's Prayer, I've been struck by Jesus intructions for how to pray. You will notice the use of the plural. "Our Father", "Give us our daily bread", "Forgive us our debts." This pattern is all through the gospels, the epistles, the pastoral letters--commands and encouragements given in the plural. The point is this: Christianity was not meant to be lived individualistically. When you put your faith in Christ, you are baptized into a body, joined to a people.  So it is an important function of the church to create environments where this body life, this community, can flourish. Much of this falls on church leadership. They must...

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Your Inner Circle

Without counsel plans fail,
but with many advisers they succeed.
Proverbs 15:21 (ESV)

Whenever you watch the news or read an article about a leader, such as the President or perhaps another world leader or a CEO or someone we think is significant, inevitably they will talk about their “inner circle.” These are the people a leader trusts with advice, the people whose wisdom and gut-level instinct he relies on to make life decisions.

You and I might think that we’re too tiny to need an inner circle. After all, we’re just doing mundane things, living lives that nobody notices, right? Not really. I think it’s important for every serious person to have their own group of trusted people whose advice they rely on. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or formal, but a few people of character who can help us process life’s difficult choices.

I have a small group of trusted people I regularly seek out when I have to make really big tough decisions. What’s interesting is that some of them don’t even know each other–they only share my friendship in common. Here are a few criteria you might consider for who is in your “inner circle.”