Ok, so here it is. You’re going to get sick of hearing this word. What makes it worse is that it’s a made up word. One Anothering. That’s the word. We turned it into a verb because every time One Another is mentioned in Scripture we’re being commanded to do something for each other. Action is required of you and me if we claim to know and follow Jesus.
Last weekend we kicked off our sermon series called One Another. This wasn’t just a sermon series to start the New Year, however. This series is setting the table for White Oak’s focus for 2023. I shared in my sermon on January 1 that I feel God’s handing leading us to this place. In 2020 our church’s focus was singular. We had to answer the question and navigate through how we would worship together, gather together, and communicate with one another. We had to ask ourselves how we cared for one another in the midst of COVID. We accomplished some amazing things in 2020 for the good of Jesus’s Kingdom and I am thankful to God for the things he taught us.
In 2021 we focused on discipleship. We needed to re-establish who White Oak is and what our mission and vision are. We exist to connect people to full life in Jesus! We began Huddle groups which train and encourage Jesus followers to gather a small group of people around them to train them in the reading of Scripture, prayer, and evangelism. Disciples multiply and that’s where we put our focus.
In 2022 we were led to submit to God’s sovereignty. With a great many things going on in our culture vying for our allegiance politically, socially, racially, and sexually… followers of Jesus need to be reminded that we are loved by and serve a sovereign God. His vantage point of what is right and good and true is what is right and good and true no matter our opinions or experiences. He is supreme and his power is unmatched. He can be trusted. His love is real and unfailing. Every believer must be grounded in these truths.
And as we navigated through these last two years it occurred to me that something else had been left behind. Not completely, mind you, but a little. But a little bit of ignoring the need for evangelism and serving our neighbors is still too much. When COVID happened, everything shut down. This included many of the ways in which White Oak served our community, our schools, and one another. As a result, the Church was forced to look inward. We had to wrestle with who we are, what we’re about, and why we exist. I believe we are emerging with some God-fueled strong answers to those questions. (We want to help others discover their identity in Jesus, equip them to love, and deploy them for mission)!
That being said, it’s time that White Oak re-claims how we accomplish our mission and realize our vision through the Holy Spirit’s power. That’s what the theme of One Another is all about. This year we want to focus on how each follower of Jesus at White Oak is seeing our heart formed for those in need, the poor, the marginalized, the hurting. We will be activated to love, serve, and honor one another both inside the walls of our buildings and certainly outside of them!
Last weekend our church family was challenged to take a One Another Challenge Card. There were nearly 450 cards taken last weekend! 450 of us said that we were willing to take on simple but profound challenges to one another better. What a great start to our year! And each week of this series we will continue to challenge each other with these cards. Please know this: When you decide that you will one another for the sake of your neighbor and for the glory of God, it may not go the way you’d like. It may be uncomfortable. It may not be received as you’d hoped. It may not feel like something worth celebrating. It might seem one-sided and fruitless. Be careful! We do not one another in order to feel good or share rewarding results. We one another because Jesus has commanded us to do so. We will celebrate our one anothering this season because we have been obedient.
And when we are obedient, the Kingdom of God comes a little more closer to all of us. Praise Him!
One Anothering with you,
White Oak Christian Church