I can’t wait for the start of our new series, Distinct, this Sunday at Restoration City. We’re going to devote the next seven weeks to talking about the ways the gospel shapes our relationships with one another as followers of Jesus. It’s all aimed at leading us to friendships with one another that are totally different than anything else the world offers. In short, we should be distinct.
Community is such a buzzword in our culture yet so many of us are starving for friendships. We’re looking online, at the gym, at work, at happy hour, in our apartment communities or in the local coffee shop. All too often, we’re looking and not finding. Or if we are finding, we’re settling for relationships that are so shallow that they’re hardly worthy of being called friendships. And our souls are shriveling.
Sadly, we don’t always find friendships in the church being all that different. Maybe slightly more sober, with less cussing and a little more Jesus. But are we really living out Jesus’ commands for our lives? I’m not sure. But I can’t wait to spend seven weeks asking God to grow us in this area.
If we’re following Jesus in our friendships, people who don’t know Christ should look into our church and be astonished by how we love one another. They should look at the depth of our relationships and our joy in one another and be captivated. There should be people coming to Restoration City simply because they want in on our kind of friendships. And in the course of their time with us, they should see that our community is shaped by our King. What makes us distinct isn’t that we’re nicer people, it’s that we’re being transformed by the Spirit and conformed to the gospel.
I’m praying these will be seven culture shaping weeks for us at Restoration City. I’m not after head knowledge about community and friendship. I’m asking God to deepen our relationships and conform them to the truths of the gospel. I’m ready for this series. I need this series. I can’t wait to see what God does with it.