Have you ever heard the expression no man is an island? I’m not sure where I first heard it, but it has been a thought ringing through my mind for some time now. I decided to do a bit of research to discover the origins and meaning of this expression. Thanks to Google, I now know:
- This is a quotation from an English poet named John Donne written in 1624.
- Even though the expression has been around since the 17th century, it only began to be widely used in the 20th century.
- A movie (which I have not seen) with the same name was released in 1962 and most likely propelled this expression into popular vernacular.
- This expression has been the title of several books and songs.
According to the website The Phrase Finder, this phrase “expresses the idea that human beings do badly when isolated from others and need to be part of a community in order to thrive.” This phrase could be the motto of Ashworth! We desire to connect individuals with Jesus, one another and our community. Why? Because we are better together.
This phrase should motivate us to lean into relationships around us – friendships that encourage us in our faith, discipleship groups, Immerse New Testament reading discussion groups, Sunday school classes, and mentoring groups. We need others because we cannot be all we were created to be in isolation.
This goes for us as a church as well. I realize that most who call Ashworth home probably don’t give much thought to this. But over the past year, I have become aware that we as a church have been isolated…an island unto ourselves. It wasn’t by design or on purpose, but over the years, we have become more and more isolated from other churches. And as we have grown over the past few years and we have faced challenges that have accompanied our growth, I realized it is not healthy for us to be alone.
So about a year ago, I reached out to other churches in our area to see if we could build relationships with pastors and congregations on the same mission as us – to reach our community for Christ. What I found was a group of like-minded, Baptist churches around us ready and willing to partner with us and help us as we continue to move forward.
For the past nine months, the Leadership Council has been investigating the possibility of joining with this group of churches so that we have the support and resources we need to continue reaching and serving our community. This movement of churches called Converge exists to start and strengthen churches.
In this short period, the staff has already experienced the benefits of having a relationship with those in our immediate area to reach out to and support. In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more about this potential new partnership. For now, you can check out more about Converge here.