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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
Pastor to Pastor

Linked in the Lord

Friendship creates visible unity.

Growing into the Lord (2)

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who arespiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6.1, 2

Spiritual Friendship
Aelred of Rievaulx (1109-1167)
“Not only is God self-sufficient; he is himself the sufficiency of all created things, granting some mere existence, granting others sentience, and granting still others knowledge, while himself remaining the cause of all existing things, the life of all sentient things, and the knowledge of all knowledgeable things. And so God Himself, as the Highest Nature, established all natures, put all things in their proper place, separately distributed all things to their proper times. But because his eternal reason demanded it, he wished all his creatures to be joined together in peace, and for community to exist between them. And thus all his creatures are allotted a certain vestige of unity from him who is supremely and purely one.”

Friendships bear witness to the oneness of God and His purpose for all of creation – that all creation should be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5.17-21). If our disciple-making were conducted more in a context of spiritual friendship, our whole church might demonstrate more of the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace (Eph. 4.3). Then our oneness would be more conspicuous to the surrounding community, thus enhancing our witness for the Lord (Jn. 17.21). True spiritual friendships witness to the reality of God, and of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. By bearing one another’s burdens, we demonstrate the dependence of all creation on God’s purposes, presence, power, and will; and we testify to the true joy and peace which can be found in union with Him alone. Think how such friendships, actively encouraged and pursued in the context of making disciples, might transform a local church and its presence in the community!

Meditate on the last sentence above. Jot down whatever ideas come to you concerning the potential for your church to impact your community through true spiritual friendships.

The journey of spiritual maturity
Growing into the Lord is both a personal and corporate adventure. Each us can become more like Jesus, and so can our churches. As we do, we will impact people, culture, and our times for the glory of God and progress of Christ’s Kingdom. Our free, online course, Introduction to Spiritual Theology, provides an outline and overview of the journey toward spiritual maturity. For more information and to register, click here.

Pastoral Hope Initiative
Pastor, where are you in your walk with and work for the Lord? Are you growing? Covering all the bases? Working fruitfully toward the Kingdom of God? Our Pastoral Hope Initiative can help you establish a framework and baseline for steady, fruitful growth into the Lord Jesus; and for the remainder of this spring, we’re waiving the fee for men who want to work through this 14-week protocol. Watch this brief video, then, if you’re interested, let me hear from you at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Fellowship of Ailbe is supported through the generous and faithful gifts of those who benefit from and believe in our work. Does the Lord want to use you in this way? Please look to Him in prayer over this question. You can contribute to The Fellowship of Ailbe by using the Contribute button at our website, or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
All quotations from Aelred of Rievaulx, Spiritual Friendship, tr. By Mark F. Williams (Scranton: The University of Scranton Press, 1994, 2002).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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