A scripture that we use constantly is 1 Thessalonians 2:8 – “We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our lives, too.” We use this when encouraging our leaders to pursue their relationship with their group of students and also in our GoCo settings as encouragement to our students to be intentional in the relationships they have with others by sharing not only the Gospel but their lives. At the very core, this scripture is a verse of thanksgiving. Paul is writing this, thankful to God for the community that has developed in Thessalonica and for the relationships that he has gained.
One of the cores of a Christ-following, intentional community on mission is that thanksgiving must spring readily from the lips of the people in the community. We have so much to be thankful for and people need to experience that joy as we share our lives with them. If thanksgiving isn’t regularly a part of the community then you need to ask: are you coming into God’s presence on a regular basis, is healing occurring, are lives being transformed, are you blessed by those around you, are you being a blessing to those around you, are you worshipping, are the lost being found in Christ? If this is happening in your missional community then you MUST BE THANKFUL to God! How can you not be thankful when all of this is going around you, in you, and through you? Just the simply fact that you get to share the Gospel with those who you are sharing life with should be enough to constantly be thankful!