Pursuing Right Relationships
It is the purpose of God to bring us into right relationship with Himself, and to form a community of believers who are in right relationship with one another. Relationships are not just necessary to accomplish certain mutual goals; right relationships are one of the primary goals of God in the life of the church. Therefore, right relationships must be a primary goal for the Christian leader.
You cannot read the Scriptures without sensing the importance of right relationships in general and especially among the people of God. We are to love God and to love our neighbor—two commandments that are inextricably linked together (Matt. 22:34–40). In other words, love for God will be seen in love for others (1 John 4:20–21). These are lifelong commitments that must be embraced by obedient children of God.
You see the importance of these truths in the Old Testament. Likewise, these truths are important in the New Testament as we see the forming of a “fellowship” that is in faith-union with the crucified-risen Christ and united by the Holy Spirit. Each person within this community is linked to one another as members in a body (Rom. 12:3–8), each contributing to the overall unity, ministry, and growth of this group of people who are in Christ. And those who lead are to do so with “diligence” (12:8), serving the goals of the body....