Jill Trucke, our Prayer Team leader, gave us plenty to think and laugh about this week:
This year our desire is to provide more opportunity for building community. But besides the obvious things that help build community – food, coffee, and chatting– what does that really mean? How does that look in our prayer groups?
The Bible reminds us in Act 1:14 that as believers in Jesus, we are of “one mind or one accord.” That sounds appealing, doesn’t it?
If you allow me to get Greek on you, that word is Homothumadon which means to “rush along” and “in unison.” The image is almost musical; a number of notes are sounded which, while different, harmonize in pitch and tone. As the instruments of a great concert harmonize under the direction of a concert master, so the Holy Spirit blends together the lives of members of Christ’s church.
Visualize a beautiful symphony playing.
It’s led by an energetic and focused conductor.
All the instruments blend together.
The experience is enjoyable for everyone.
To contrast that picture, I am going to tell you a story . . .
When I was growing up, my family volunteered to sing the special music at our church one Sunday. We were not the Von Trapp family by any means. But my dad did play the piano and were going to sing “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.” My sister and I were teenagers and my brother Luke was much younger – probably 4-5 years old.
Luke had a deep voice but only sang one low note. It was adorable at home. Yet all the way to church, my parents instructed Luke to sing loud because when we had practiced you couldn’t hear him. Well, you probably can see where this is going.
We got up to sing – Luke standing on a chair in front of the podium with my mom, my sister and me standing behind him and my dad down at the piano – and Luke just belts out the song like never before. It caught us so off guard that we started to giggle and had a hard time composing ourselves.
My dad and Luke continued, but Luke was peeved that we weren’t singing and said, “Sing, guys, sing,” which only made us laugh more.
My dad played on, giving us the look which said, “Pull it together! We are being humiliated.”
The final straw was when a guy in the audience decided he should try to help us out and started singing. We never did pull it together. Let’s just say it was the last time we ever sang as a family in public again.
We had no conductor.
One person stood out.
We did not blend well at all.
It was something we never wanted to do again.
So you can see why I want each of you to be part of something truly beautiful in your small groups, rather than something disharmonious and embarrassing. Here are some keys to remember:
1. We need a conductor. The Holy Spirit is of utmost importance and central to our community whether it is during discussion time or prayer time.
2. We have to be real and authentic. To make a community of “one mind” we need to be able to be real. We are each unique, and we all have imperfections, yet we are all valuable to the community.
3. We probably will need to practice. We will have special bonds with the women in our groups when we are led by the Holy Spirit (conductor) and if we play our real instruments (be authentic). But it will take time.
Romans 15: 5 “Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I hope you are excited to be a part of this type of community. That’s what I love about Titus Women. We are all different, but we have the same desire: to surrender ourselves to God (the concert master).