Yesterday Susan and I picked up Valerie and Aaron early in the morning to go to Indianapolis. Sam (our son and Valerie’s husband for those who don’t know) was participating in a state-wide Marine recruit activity.
Several hundred young men and women from all around Indiana came together to test their physical fitness with running 1-1/2 miles, chin ups, sit ups, lifting 30 pound ammo boxes over their head and tug-of-war as a group competition.
Most of them had done these things before in smaller, regional settings; but this was a whole new arena with higher ranking officers present. One new element for the recruits was their first exposure to actual Drill Instructors!
I’ll spare you the details but I will say that the energy level in the gym was very intense and very focused! The Drill Instructors schooled the recruits on the proper manner in which to address them during boot camp. Very impressive and a bit intimidating!
After about 25 minutes of this the Drill Instructors came over and spoke with the family members to answer questions and explain a bit of what they do. One thing that stuck out to me is that the recruits are not allowed to refer to themselves as “I”. This and other similar training methods are designed specifically to help the recruits lose their sense of individuality and learn to function as a single unit.
I think that’s a lesson that we in the church desperately need to learn. I’m not suggesting that we treat each other as recruits and shout at one another nose to nose; but I think we need to work at creative ways that would help us become more aware of following Jesus as a community of disciples.
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him — you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Peter 2:4-5
If you have any ideas on how we could encourage more of a community, group mindset within the church leave me a comment!