"Growth in the middle of a group"
As police officers we find ourselves regularly isolated. Often it is through society, other times by journalists, friends, neighbors and even sometimes by our own families. Sometimes we even go as far as to isolate ourselves voluntarily in order to protect ourselves. Someone recently confided to me that a very good friend of her had gone away after a disagreement about the nature of her work as a police officer. As police officers we are isolated on several levels, but when we add to the fact that we are christians, we find ourselves doubly isolated. It is at this point that we become easy prey to guilt, fear and failures, which can have very negative consequences in our lives.
"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work".
Ephesians 4 talks about growth in the middle of a group.
The animals function in groups because they understood that they were stronger in groups. A lion who wants to devour his prey will observe the herd pass and even if the lion is far stronger than the other animals, he will still wait until one of them moves away from the group to attack it .
In addition, the animals stay in a group because they also understand that the only way to go to the maximum of their abilities is by staying together.
People have often read this text by understanding it in the way a pastor is different from an evangelist but not more important but where I'd like to bring you in fact is that the pastor is not only different but that he depends on the evangelist and vice versa.
The body will go to maximum of its abilities only if each body parts do what they have to do. The hands will go to their maximum only if the rest of the body does what it has to do and the rest of the body will go to maximum of its abilities only if the hands do what they have to do.
The same principle applies with our families, our friends, our work and in our spiritual life. So it's not just a blessing but a responsibility we have. The other members of the group will allow me to go to the maximum of my capacities but I also have the responsibility to stay in the group so that the others can also go to the maximum of their capacities.
This is the very reason for the importance of belonging to a group that will allow us to go further: "Never again be alone, isolated, being an easy prey or misunderstood." God said at the beginning of his creation that it was not good for man to be alone. I believe that joining a group will help us to go further, to help each other and to encourage one another. I strongly encourage you to join a christian group so that you can get to the fullest of your abilities that God has given you!