There is Power in Real Community

Last week I spoke to a Celebrate Recovery group that had the courage to invite me to address the devastation caused by sexual abuse.  Celebrate Recovery is a program where addicts of all kinds gather on a weekly basis to travel the road of healing together.  One
night a week for a couple of hours they share with each other their pain and struggles with addiction.  For a couple hours each week they are living community.

Followers of the King must live in community and I believe in this current time that community cannot be a once a week one or two hour gathering.  Another hour or two a week in selected smaller gatherings has little effect on the enormous forces of the enemy. How in the world are groups of people that meet for an hour or two a week going to stave off the onslaught of a 24 hour a day seven day a week orchestrated invasion by the enemy?  How are people of like minds but limited vision meeting in walled cities and houses and celebrating common ground ever going to reverse the course of evil that surrounds us twenty four hours a day?

For two and a half hours last week I shared healing in community with fellow broken followers of the Master.  Followers that are not afraid to admit that sin is in their lives.  Followers that chose to listen as I shared the power of evil to shape addictions through
sexual abuse and internet pornography. With all due respect to my fellow travelers; it is not enough.  Community means; “a group of people with common interests living together within a larger society”.  The church is not a community, it is a gathering.  The church is a domesticated, civilized gathering of like minded people that comes together a couple of hours a week to feel good and happy.  Yes, it is a generalization, but an accurate one.
If the message of the Master is to even dent this current culture it is time the followers get real about the pain in this world, the pain in their lives, and confront it in the definition of community.  Living together, hurting together, being honest everyday together is the way the power of the Spirit will bond together and witness a surge against the enemy.

Last week I witnessed community for a few hours and the power of confronting evil as a band of brothers and sisters.  Having the courage to confront the consequences of brokenness perpetrated by evil and having the courage to walk in it with fellow soldiers equips one for service.  Imagine the power generated and unleashed on the enemy if communities lived together every day?  Imagine the love and hope that the communities
and the movement would demonstrate to others by putting their sin and failures
out in the open for all to see and heal together.

I’m angry witnessing the power of the enemy to control fellow followers with the shame and history of sexual abuse. I challenge every gathering in this nation that claim to follow the Master to set aside the quest for happiness and step into the raw pain and suffering in your group and witness the power of real community. Thank you my brothers and sisters of the Desert Springs Celebrate Recovery chapter for sharing your courage.  Take it to the
streets.

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About Bill Harbeck

Founder and Director of Holding on to Hope Ministries. A non-profit work that helps survivors of childhood sexual abuse unveil their past and begin the healing process. Author of the book Shattered; One Man's Journey from Childhood Sexual Abuse
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