Devotions based on James Smith’s book, The Good and Beautiful Community

The success of a church is not in its size but in its love and service to the people of the community. The author gives an example of two churches. One was self focused and concerned about their image and what they could do to improve their church. The second church  was other-focused and wanted to know how they could serve others, particularly college students. They were caught up in God’s kingdom and served many meals and gave warm hugs to the students. You can guess which church thrived! Dallas Willard was speaking at a conference and told them what the single most important task of a Christian is, especially those who are in leadership. The answer was surprising. He said it was to pray for the success of their neighboring church!. He said that when we genuinely pray for the success of another church in our proximity, we are breaking the narrative of selfishness and entering into the mind of God, who is also concerned for the success of that church. It helps us connect with something bigger than ourselves; it helps us see the power of the kingdom of God.  In His kingdom we are not competing with anyone but on the same team.