role of community in growthCommunity is essential in helping us process our journey of discipleship. The Apostle Paul gives us some direction in how we are to function as Christian community for one another in this particularly rich passage:

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching. –Hebrews 10:24-25   

Let’s unpack this passage, as it has a great deal to say about how we are to disciple one another.

  • “let us consider….” The word consider implies intentional thought about how to help another individual. We are to take our time, sit down and consider the best way to spur one another on, recognizing that it may look different for different people.
  • “how we may spur one another on….” This phrase speaks to the very nature of community. Community is designed that we might spur one another on towards growth. The word spur implies both challenge and encouragement. Our growth happens in the context of community, and we help one another on toward that growth.
  • “toward love and good deeds….” And toward what end are we spurring one another on? Toward love and good deeds. Not just love, and not just good deeds, but both. Here we see the highlighting of both the internal and the external, the being and the doing. That’s holistic discipleship.
  • not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing….” Consistent meeting together speaks to the intentionality of the relationships. In any community of people, relationships can fade out if we’re not careful. We need to be intentional about maintaining our discipleship community.

This passage serves as a framework for how we pursue discipleship with one another: with careful consideration, with challenge and encouragement, toward holistic ends, and with intentionality.