One of the things God really placed on my heart even before we opened the doors of City on Hill Church is that kingdom building isn’t an individual sport it is a team sport. The kingdom of God is far bigger than one church. I didn’t want to plant “a” church I wanted to plant “the” church. That can sometimes be difficult because there are some who seek to build an empire rather than build the kingdom or in the name of the kingdom. Before our church was formally formed I went out into the community to visit with local pastors and share my vision and dream for City on a Hill Church. While I was keenly aware that church planting and kingdom building isn’t an individual sport yet I had no “mother church” and no denominational backing. I sought a covering. That is a key. I sought it out. Thanks be to God for a brother in Sebring, Bruce Linehart, who mentored me for six months walking with me step by step. I reached out to three different fellowships and was received by all with love. My friend and brother in Christ in Carolina, Ed Arroyo, along with his fellowship walked with me in the first few months as well. All of this happened because I sought out covering, I sought out community. God lives in perfect community and He desires His church to live in that same community. Right away City on a Hill Church partnered with four ministries in the city building the kingdom and community. I joined Somebody Cares Tampabay a monthly gathering of pastors and leaders from around Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. I sent out encouragements to other pastors in the city to celebrate what God is doing in their churches. Currently I am a part of three different pastors and leaders networks within the city and I am in fellowship with a fourth. There must be community within the body of Christ. We cannot allow denominational tags, geographical locations, theological stances or doctrine or separate and divide us. We must learn to celebrate the growth and success of our brothers and sisters in Christ because it is really our growth as well. When the kingdom grows we all grow. Kingdom building vs. empire building exposes motives and issues of the heart. It doesn’t matter how big or small your church is we all need fellowship and community. We cannot just create community within our churches and staff. I need community outside of my own fellowship because the church is bigger than one location or denomination. Currently I am a part of the Association of Related Churches (ARC) and I love it! These people really know how to build community and love their pastors. I sought them out and was received with open arms. They are all about the kingdom building. I know there are church planters coming to St. Petersburg and Clearwater and I will do whatever I can to help them and bless them. I have no territory. I have no ownership. It all belongs to God. God owns the fields so whomever He chooses to send into them I will come alongside as best I can. Romans encourages us to let our love be genuine. That is what I seek to do. It was very lonely when I got started. I didn’t stay lonely long. I didn’t wait for community to come to me, I sought it out on every level. I have personal accountability partners, recreational fellowships, spiritual authority through trustees and elders, ministry teams, pastor’s groups, city leader’s groups, church planting networks, and more to live in community and kingdom build with. I encourage you today live in community. Live in community with people in the same field or focus. As pastors, church leaders and church members we are not in competition we are in community. God desires that we live in community. A community filled with perfect unity, harmony, submission, fellowship, love and grace. Seek out community. Find your place in your community (church, neighborhood, city, family, workplace, school). There is a community that is lacking without you. You are the missing piece to bring wholeness and health to a community. Give yourself to community today. Be encouraged!