To My Sloth Gang
One thing we all know—that community is the heartbeat of our faith. We know it personally because we experienced it. We may not have known what it was—we just knew it was a very good thing—like God called his creation, and we slapped a name on it: the Sloth Gang.
And we bought Sloth socks and sloth bracelets and laughed.
But we glimpsed unity. And we all were going separate ways. But we tasted unity and some of us held onto it like a treasure box and made bonfires and book clubs and taco Tuesdays and bible studies almost a daily event.
God says when we love each other, His love is perfected—completed—in us, and I saw that with you guys. When we all walked to the park and group-swarmed the Germann’s home, when we invaded Polanza as a group every week, when we rode bikes and surfed all day together and studied and sang and prayed together. This is the kind of love that causes people to stare and wonder and ask questions and if—IF we pursued it, the same kind that would cause people to be saved. In fact, this is the kind of unity the Bible says is imperative to winning the lost.
This kind of community is the Acts kind that saved people more than church services, door to door ministry, sermons, or conferences (Acts 4:32-35, Phil 1:27-28, John 17: 20-23) !
“And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:44-47 ESV
“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and soul: and not one of them said that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles their witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”
Acts 4:32-33 ASV
And not just that, but the bond between the Acts gang was so good and powerful that just being removed was called “being given over to Satan.” (1 Tim 1:20) Good grief!
Y’all—you have a rare and beautiful and powerful tool—and WOW this excites me for you all and is also what I dread leaving—even though I know Birmingham will be so, so good. I just want you to see what you have and KNOW that this is God manifesting Himself in this world and we’ve really only barely touched the surface. And God will call people away and also will add people—who knows where we’ll all be in 2 years? But please please intentionally embrace and grow and pursue it with everything you have right now and don’t ever lose your vision and passion for it because it is wildly unique and rare and precious to God’s heart and He is going to insanely bless it.