Sometimes in the church we assume that “community” and “mission” are diametrically opposed values; that as Christians, we have to pick one or the other to focus on, or figure out how to balance the two. But what if there was another way?

At our wedding, someone gave us a card that I still remember. It said, “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” At first glance, this might seem like an odd thing to say to newlyweds. And yet, it was probably the best wedding day advice we could have gotten! Because while ‘gazing at each other’ sure is nice (just being honest here!), what has strengthened our bond more than anything is our ‘looking outward’ together—our partnership in ministry.

And this is not just true for marriage, but for every community of love: in ‘looking outward’ together—in existing for a purpose beyond ourselves—our bond isn’t threatened or diminished; rather, it is strengthened. In other words, we build community precisely by being on mission together! This powerful truth is at the heart of Amore. It’s why we close every meeting with the Lord’s prayer, holding hands, facing outward. It’s community. And it’s mission.

Whether in your marriage, your family unit, your Amore or home group, or even your own personal relationship with Jesus, have you found this to be true? How have you strengthened your bond by ‘looking outward’ together? Share your thoughts in the comments section!