*40 Days of Community*
*Why We Need Each Other*
Transcript of Message by Rick Warren
October 2-3, 2004
Well good morning everybody.
Wow, you look great today.
If you’ll take out your outlines, today, we’re beginning a revolution.
And I don’t say that lightly.
It is going to be a revolution that will start here and will spread literally all across America and then hopefully around the world.
And we’re going to start with a message today that really is pretty radical.
It’s pretty countercultural.
It’s the exact opposite of what you’ve been taught your entire life.
But God says, “If you will do what I tell you to do, you will never again have to deal with loneliness.
You’ll be able to overcome fatigue, fear, failure, and frustration.
Your life will be so much easier if you’ll just do it the way I planned for you to do it.”
The anecdote to all of those things is the concept of community.
Now we Americans, man we love our independence.
Our nation was founded on the Declaration of Independence.
And so we really love it.
You know, “I got to be me.”
“I did it my way.”
“I don’t need anybody to tell me what it’s all about.”
And we think and we have been taught that happiness is the result of independence, and that if I’m financially independent, if I’m relationally independent, if I am independent in every way, then I will be the happiest.
And yet, we have never had more unhappy people, and suicide rate continues to go up.
Because that’s not the answer.
The truth is, happiness does not come from being independent, isolated, living your life with all the barriers up and all the masks and keeping people at an arm’s distance.
That’s not the way to be happy.
Happiness comes from interdependence, from interdependence, from community.
Notice what the Bible says there on Romans chapter 12. Let’s read it aloud together, /“Since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other and each of us needs all the others.”/
Turn to the person next to you and say, “You need me.”
“You need me.”
Now also, I want you to say, “I need you.”
“I need you.”
We just had over a hundred marriage proposals just then.
I’ll be doing a two for one special on weddings after the service.
We do need each other.
We just don’t realize how much we need each other because we are taught independence.
Now during ‘40 Days of Purpose’ that we did two years ago, the big idea was that God put you on this planet for five reasons and we talked about those five purposes that God put you on earth to fulfill.
That’s the big idea.
Let me give you a bigger idea.
You cannot fulfill any of those five purposes on your own.
You can’t do it by yourself.
God wired you and wired all of us in such a way that we can only fulfill his purposes for our lives in community, in his family, in relationship to each other.
We need each other.
That’s the big idea we’re going to look at for the next 40 days.
And we’re going to begin the second in a trilogy of three 40-day journeys.
The first one was the ‘40 Days of Purpose.’
Now we’re going to look at ‘40 Days of Community.’
By the way, we now have somewhere around 25 to 30,000 churches in American.
One out of every nine churches has done ‘40 Days of Purpose.’
In fact, this week about 6,000 more churches are beginning ‘40 Days of Purpose’ and about 35 million Americans have read /The Purpose Driven Life/.
But we’re going on to the next step, and the second step is learning what it means to be in community.
And during the next 40 days, we’re going to look at relationships.
We’re going to look at why do relationships go bad?
And how do you turn a bad relationship into a good one?
And what does it mean to really love and be loved?
And what does it mean to really have intimacy with somebody?
To have soul-to-soul fellowship and what is the purpose of God’s church in all of this?
Now, today I’m going to give you a little introduction.
And we’re going to look at why we need each other.
The five reasons why you need a church family, and more than that, five reasons why you need to be in a small group with a few other friends who you get to know on a deeper level than just casual acquaintance.
And the Bible gives us five reasons:
Number one,* I need others to WALK with me*.
I need others to walk with me.
In other words, I need people to help me grow spiritually.
The Bible says in Colossians 2:6 and 2:7, /“Just as you receive Christ Jesus the Lord,”/ read it with me, /“So walk in him.”
Now the Bible often calls your spiritual life, your walk.
It calls it “the Christian walk” or “the spiritual walk.”
Because life is not just a sit-down thing, it’s a journey.
You’re always growing.
You’re always moving, and your life is a journey.
There is a destination to get to.
And the Bible says that as you walk through life, God wants you to do certain things.
Now all through scripture, it tells us, particularly through the New Testament, we’re to walk in the light, we’re to walk in love, we’re to walk in obedience, we’re to walk in the Holy Spirit, we’re to walk as Jesus walked, we’re to walk in wisdom.
Many, many ways the Bible tells us how to live this kind of life.
But one of the important things is this: God never intended for you to walk through life alone.
God never intended for you to walk through life alone.
Now let me make it really clear, this has nothing to do with whether you’re single or married.
We have thousands of single adults who are in this church, who are actively involved in community.
They’re not walking through life alone.
And we also have people in this church, who are married, and desperately lonely.
So marriage is not the anecdote.
Community is the anecdote.
Now some of you say, “Well what’s wrong with walking alone?
I like to walk alone.
I prefer to walk alone.
I get my own way when I walk alone.”
Well, that’s part of the problem… is you’re not learning cooperation.
You’re not learning relationships.
You’re not learning love.
God says, “I want you to walk through life with other people close in relationship with you,” and he says it for three reasons.
You might just write this in the margin.