Community is the single-most important aspect we need as people to function happily. Community provides a sense of belonging, an opportunity to give and to receive. It provides the source of human interaction and love that we thrive on.
Even God lives in Community: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Having moved to a foreign country on three separate occasions, it is the sense of Community that has enabled me to settle in.
For the practicing Christian, what is the most obvious source of Community? For the Fellowship of Believers, the opportunity where love, companionship and camaraderie is available most readily is the organization called the Church. The Church is not a building but a body: a group of living, breathing people who engage in relationship so that each is protected, encouraged and challenged to grow more like Jesus.
I’d love to challenge and encourage you the reader, and myself: are we in Community?
For me, Community means an environment where I can share my heart, give of my love and grow with others. Being part of Community takes time and energy, consistent availability and the willingness to form personal bonds. Community is cross-generational, accepting and challenging, involving face-to-face encounters and a shared sense of place and purpose.
Why does Community matter? It matters to us because we are created for relationship and it matters to others, because the world will know us by our love (John 13:35).
Sometimes, I confess, I avoid Community. Writing is isolating and demanding at times, so I simply put my head down and focus on the screen. But in truth, I must reach out, risk and engage. That’s a part of my calling, and my make-up as a human being requires it. Otherwise, negative thoughts and feelings find their way inside me and limit me.
Let’s make sure we are in Community, so that we can be lifted up in our difficult times and lift others during theirs. When circumstances don’t allow face-to-face encounters, let’s reach out on-line or by phone. If our situation prevents us from attending a church group, then let’s find another way to experience reciprocal Community. It’s so important for our continued growth and to encourage the growth of others.
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