One of the ways that we measure if our community is being all it can be is to look at it alongside what we call The Three Loves:
- Loving God
- Loving each other
- Loving the world
Sometimes a community of faith majors on one or two of these loves, and not all three. Here’s what happens if you leave out one:
Leave out Loving Each Other
We’ve had times in our community where we are really focussed on loving the world and loving God, but barely giving our community life any attention at all. Our relationships become shallow and collegial, rather than those of a loving family.
Leave out Loving The World
Other communities I know are great at loving God and loving each other, but they don’t want to go anywhere near the world. Some are afraid of the world and what it might do to them! When this happens, we open up the door to becoming super spiritual and inward. A church that doesn’t have an outward focus will soon be overrun with politics and infighting.
Leave out Loving God
Finally, some communities neglect the loving God part of the equation. They have great friendships and they serve the community around them energetically, but all their energy and vision comes from within themselves. Operating like this encourages burnout and spiritual shallowness.
At regular intervals we ask ourselves “how are we doing?” in relation to The Three Loves, to try and ensure that we don’t lose balance.