Posted by: John Hall | November 24, 2008

Walking Together

I’ve heard a lot about walking corporately in the church.  I think these words can sound pretty scary for some people.  It can easily conjure up pictures of automatons droning “Yes master”, and marching in step across the globe.  For others corporately may be misinterpreted as making the church more organized and businesslike.  But what I think the word is trying to convey is a picture of the church walking in unity with each part knowing its function and place. 

 

To me the ultimate picture of walking corporately has been people in community.  Unfortunately, I don’t think true community is possible or available to us until we reach heaven.  One of the best pictures of earthly community is probably in the book of Acts (2:42-47).  It describes the days when the early church were in synch with each other and the Holy Spirit.  But as I thought about it more I began to perceive that walking corporately is probably an intermediary step similar to sanctification at an individual level, but applied to a group on the way to true community. I think this is important to grasp because it’s easy to get disappointed when there is an expectation that isn’t realized.  In this case, community isn’t birthed mature, it’s a process of maturing just like any baby matures in the natural. 

 

I would say that walking corporately is the application of the commands that lead to godliness by the body of Christ to the body.  Some of these commands are things like honoring others, sacrificial love, truth, faith, obedience, abiding in Christ and submission. Walking corporately manifests itself when the people of God realize that God’s call can only be fulfilled as a group: hearing God together, obeying God together, walking in righteousness together, and meeting needs together.  For all of our good let’s get rid of the title ‘walking corporately’ and just call it family.

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Responses

  1. hi John
    very clear explanation given here. Love the not birthed mature but a progressing thing.I would suggest not throwing the ‘walking corporately’title out just yet .My reason for this is that we are just learning what family really means ,and I feel the WC experience,coupled with teaching and experiencing family will expediate the process.
    in Him—john

  2. We long for such a family. We have tried to make it happen and failed because, as Shane Claiborne, in “Irresistible Revolution”, reminds us, if we focus on building community, we are in danger of losing sight of following Jesus. I pray that we may follow Him faithfully into God-designed opportunities to live corporately.
    This is not an easy thing, for sacrificial love costs a lot – No, it costs everything! I hope I am truly willing to pay the price when it comes right down to it.


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