Why we’re connecting people more than ever in 2012—and why that matters to you
A year after God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He instructed Moses to take a census of the entire Jewish community. Though the newly liberated people were certainly growing in number, the point of this head count was as much about identity as it was about statistics.
By identifying the 12 tribes (along with a “13th tribe,” the Levites), numbering them and placing them in order, God established each family’s unique role and function as part of a larger community. And because these tribes were connected by blood to one another—through their leaders, the sons of Jacob (Israel)—God was also instilling in every Israelite a sense of both individual and corporate identity. They would have to wait another 39 years for a physical land, but the Israelites were already in the process of becoming a nation, and this began with each person understanding his or her place in a community that was destined to fulfill a bigger purpose.
We in the Spirit-filled community would do well to embark on the same process. Indeed, many of us need an identity reminder—not necessarily individually, but in knowing the bigger part we play within the body of Christ. Despite holistically making up the largest and fasting-growing segment of evangelical Christendom, charismatics often tend to become isolated “tribes.” Yet it’s key that we have a clear vision of how our individual communities fit into God’s bigger picture of the charismatic community at large—and beyond that, the global church. We gain this broader scope in part by being informed about what else is going on in the larger community, and by connecting with other tribes. read more