A Collaborative Community

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”—Romans 12:3-13 (NIV)

The human body is the ultimate imagery for collaboration. Each part is uniquely designed to function in unison with the entire body. For example, we can’t hear sound through our fingers or have vision through our toes.

Similar to the human body, the Church is described as the “body of Christ.” The Church is simply a body of individuals who know that a relationship with Jesus changes everything. Each individual of the Church has a specific part to play based on the gifts God has given them. Paul explains to the Church in Rome that every individual has been given specific gifts so they’re equipped to build the community.

Working well with others isn’t always easy. Think back to your experiences of having group projects in school. Group projects were infamously notorious for a lack of collaboration. Typically, one person ended up doing all the work while everyone else received the credit. Luckily for us, throughout Romans 12 Paul provides some clear action steps on how we can accomplish a collaborative community:

  1. Do not think you are better than you are, but take an honest evaluation of your motives through the lens of faith (Romans 12:3).
  2. Authentically love the people around you—don’t just pretend to care (John 15:13).
  3. Hate what is evil or wrong (Hebrews 1:9). Cling tightly to what is good or right (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
  4. Be committed to your community (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10).
  5. Honor those in your community (John 13:34-35).
  6. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord with passion (Colossians 3:23).
  7. Rejoice in hope (Romans 5:1–5).
  8. Be patient in the hard times (James 5:7–¬8).
  9. Never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

The type of collaborative community that is described in Romans 12 is only possible through the grace of God. It’s through unmerited favor the Holy Spirit gives us gifts to build up God’s people in the Church and to express God’s love for others.

YOU have been given specific gifts to build up the Church! Dr. Suess communicated it best when he said, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is more youer than you.”

PAUSE: Take a moment to reflect on the gifts God has given you.

PRACTICE: Click here to take a spiritual gifts test. After an honest evaluation, establish one action step towards being a better collaborator.

PRAY: God, thank You so much for giving me a part to play in building your Church. Continue to reveal the gifts You have given me! Show me how to live in a collaborative community. Amen!