Your Weekly Connection to GroupLife through the LeaderZone
By John Jordens, Pastor of GroupLife and Care Ministries
October 25, 2019
Rooted in Community
(A little known facts about Sequoias)
I trust you've been tracking with us through the Rooted series over the past 4 weeks. It's been a great reminder about the foundational aspects of the Christian life. As Brian wraps up this series by looking at the "Root of Community," I want to leave you with some powerful wording about the sequoia trees from Ed Stetzer's book "Transformational Groups." This also will give you a taste of what we will be talking about at our next Harbor coming up in a couple of weeks.
Were you to ever venture just north of San Francisco into Muir Woods, an incredible forest of sequoia trees, you would no doubt be provoked to a sense of awe over the strength and endurance of the massive trees. Sequoias are sometimes referred to as the largest living things on earth, reaching almost 250 feet in the air and standing for as many as fifteen hundred years. When you stand before their enormous trunks and beneath a canopy more than twenty stories above you, it’s hard not to feel tiny and envious at the same time. If you could have a conversation with one (not that either of us have attempted that), would you not want to ask, “How? How have you done it? How have you stood strong through all the storms of life, all the difficult situations? How have you not toppled?” Their response may be surprising.
You would probably assume that deep roots would be the fundamental reason the sequoias around you could date back to a few decades from the collapse of the Roman Empire. That is not the case at all, however, as each tree’s roots grow only about four feet in the ground. While going deeper helps many trees remain upright, the sequoia you stand before like an ant has not overcome the difficulties of life because of its depth. The answer doesn’t lie down below in the earth but all around the tree. If you looked around, you would notice that sequoia trees grow only in groves. While their roots go only about four feet deep into the ground, their roots intermingle with the other sequoias next to them. One tree has other trees surrounding it, supporting it and keeping it strong. Each tree stands strong through the centuries because each tree has an interdependent posture. No sequoia grows alone. The connection to our spiritual walk should be obvious—no believer is transformed alone. Just as the mighty sequoia would topple without a community of supporting trees, believers who seek transformation apart from a Christian community are vulnerable to spiritually topple in the winds of adversity.
Week Six - Rooted in Community on Vimeo:
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Previous weeks are also available.
All links for the Rooted Curriculum are below the video.