We all know how important it is to love God and His Word. We also know that we should be active in sharing our faith with others as well as making disciples. Yet I believe we can put making disciples against caring for one another. Almost like the two are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Hopefully most of us see that a part of making disciples is growing in the way we love one another and a part of the way we love one another is by actively making disciples. Both are about loving others well and giving our lives for them. Both deepen our understanding of the gospel and show us our desperate need for Christ.
Having just come back from spending almost two weeks with two GCE churches in Germany, I have seen firsthand how each church is wrestling with the command to love others well. The leaders in Cologne were not afraid to open up their church to a stranger so I could come in and assess how well they are doing at caring for one another. This takes a lot of trust. What I found was a church that really wants to grow in caring for others better. They are well equipped to care for each other on a daily basis yet it can be more difficult when someone is facing a deeper struggle that will take time to understand. It is hard to find Christians who are equipped to handle life’s more complex subjects. Thankfully they are turning to God’s Word, prayer, and to the body of Christ for guidance. Even the church in Berlin, which has gone through many transitions, is preparing for a new chapter. They are loving each other in very practical ways while trying to understand best how to impact their part of East Berlin with the gospel.
It was a joy and honor to come alongside each church and encourage them in both making disciples and caring for one another. Or was it caring for one another and making disciples? Either way it was great being with them in their journey with Christ.