Better together is not just a slogan.
MARCH 19, 2019 // NIK GOODNER
‘Better together’ is not just a slogan.
In Genesis, we read the story of Adam and his first moments in the world. Within, this GOD-designed world there was trees, plants, oceans, birds, animals, and man.
As GOD creates, he evaluates. He looks at the trees, plants, oceans, birds, animals, etc. and notes them as "good." However, when GOD sees the man all alone, he notes ‘not good.’ The search for a suitable partner commences, and when one is not found, one is created.
The first and only edit GOD makes in HIS creation is loneliness; a lack of community.
If you know the story, you know, our enemy comes while Eve is alone in the Garden and tempts her to eat the forbidden fruit. She goes back to Adam gets him to eat it, and when questioned by GOD they blame one another.
Adam and Eve’s disobedience separates them from GOD and tears at their relationship with each other.
Fast-forward to the first sons of Adam and Eve, Cain kills Abel; separation continues.
Within the first four chapters of our Bible, we see an enemy who desires nothing more but to separate us from each other and GOD.
However, after generations pass, GOD sends us HIS son. And in a bizarre act of redemption, regains a relationship with humankind.
Adam and Eve lost community; CHRIST dies to get it back. Community is the core of who we are as creative leaders.
We see this throughout our Bible:
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another."
— Hebrews 10:24 - 25
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
— Proverbs 27:17
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
— Ecclesiastes 4:12
On the other hand, our enemy hates community. He wants us to feel isolated.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8
When lions hunt, they stalk large herds getting as close as they can to their prey; then the lions charge the group. When they charge the herds they take off running; the lion targets the weakest of the pack, the one who is separated from the group and attacks them.
When Peter warns us about our enemy and compares him to a lion, one has to deduct that part of ‘being alert and of sober mind’ means being a part of a community. Because Peter knows, we are more prone to attacks when we separate ourselves from a tribe.
With church creatives, our enemy divides us from our community with two core lies:
No one has ever dealt with what you are dealing with right now.
You are the only one who can do what you are doing.
Those lies push us into isolation and when we are isolated:
We become self-centered.
We become depressed + disengaged.
Our relationship with GOD deteriorates.
This is where Satan wants us. Separated. Therefore, we should fight to maintain community with one another.
Better together is not just a slogan; it is a mandate from GOD.
We thrive in community.