At The Message Trust, we believe so strongly in the importance of community it is one of our four core values.
Life can be found within the context of community, and lack thereof can lead to a form of ‘death’. As an organisation, our British counterparts often describe us as ‘mates on a mission’, meaning we’re in this together as friends. We are in this together, for better or for worse; in our ups and our downs – our mountaintop and even our valley moments. We are friends that spur each other on, encourage one another, and hold each other accountable.
Community is a pivotal element in fueling the life and creativity within us, to hold us accountable to growth and transformation; driving us further into our pursuit of justice, transformation, and our God-given passions. Community is a defining feature of what it means to be human – we cannot fully live and function without being in community. And yet, it is so easy to fall out of community if we are not being intentional about our relationships.
There have been countless times in my own life where I have fallen into the trap of isolation. If I look back over the course of my life, there is an obvious correlation between the times I have been thriving in life and thriving in community, as well as a definite link between the lack of community within my darkest and most depressive days.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT)
Community isn’t a 21st century invention, it is deeply biblical. God created us to gather, to love and motivate each other, and breathe encouragement amongst one another. Jesus lived in constant community and is a true example of what it looks like to do life with other people and to invite them in. As The Message Trust, we are transfixed on the goal of reflecting the life of Jesus, sharing true community across the city of Cape Town and those we have the privilege of working with.
As an organisation, The Message Trust is committed to upholding our core value of community – through the staff culture of keeping each other accountable, daily prayer, weekly devotionals, monthly prayer days and mentorship, through to our extended ‘family’ relationships within the local church & organisational partnerships. We like to believe that every element of the work that we do incorporates at least a primary level of community, knowing that at the core of community is a core of relationship with Jesus, leading us to bring real, positive change and transformation to the lives of others and in turn their communities.
Personally, I have been stretched and strengthened because of the Message Trust community. I’ve been challenged to become a better version of myself – and encouraged to step into giftings I didn’t know I had. I’ve been held accountable, time after time, and corrected when I am out of line or missing the mark. In the last three years, I have seen some of my darkest days and yet, my husband and I have had a community through The Message Trust that has constantly been there to lift up our arms when we were too weak to do so ourselves. They have supported us through trial and tribulation, encouraged us, spoken life over us. They have offered countless prayers over us. Whether I was fighting for my life in the hospital or we were transitioning out of an abusive situation, we always had The Message Trust community with us along the way. They’ve offered shoulders to cry on and the encouragement and confidence we’ve needed to be able to pick ourselves up again and again. They have been some of our biggest supporters and cheerleaders and continually push us and encourage us towards victory. Looking back at my own life over the last few years, it is so easy to understand the importance of community as a core value, not knowing where I would’ve ended up without it in my own life.
The Message Trust is a group of people that fiercely loves, supports and encourages its people and the communities of South Africa. Their value for community is evident in how they love, serve, and fight for one another and their passion for bringing life and transformation to the least, the last and the lost.
At The Message Trust, community is about family and we invite you to become a part of our community, a part of our family.
Written by Alexis Horne