“Community” has become quite the buzzword in today’s Christian circles. We talk about the importance of living in community and doing life together. I think what it all boils down to is family. As children of God, we were designed to live as members of one big family. We all need one another. Although you can certainly try to go it alone, it’s alot like trying to climb an icy mountain uphill. It’s difficult to gain traction without the support of others in your life who can reach out a hand when you feel like your about to slip.
1. Community Provides Accountability
We all struggle. Doing the right thing is not always easy. I love having people in my life that I can trust enough to be vulnerable with and share with them what I am going through. Knowing that somebody is cheering you on and checking in on you makes doing the right thing a whole lot easier. It’s so important to have people in your life who tell you what you need to hear and not necessarily what you want to hear, because there is growth in that and there is healing in that. These are the kinds of relationships that are transformative because they push you and prod you to become the man or the woman that God has designed you to be. Find friends like this and be that friend for others.
2. Community Provides Support
In a healthy community of believers, there is safety. We all have doubts, questions, insecurities and fears. Our minds can be a scary place at times! It is so healthy to express even our darkest thoughts to those who can shed some light and encourage us to step away from negative thinking. When we leave things unexpressed, we can become consumed by uncertainty and discouragement and our fears tend to grow. Letting others in allows us to gain a new perspective on our circumstances. Think about it. Aren’t we always better at helping somebody out with their problems than we are at dealing with our own? It’s because we were designed to be a support system for one another and to help others to see the truth, when they become blinded by challenging circumstances.
3. Community Provides a Sense of Belonging
Lastly, community creates a sense of belonging. If we are doing community right, others should feel acceptance and a freedom to blossom as the unique individuals that God has called them to be. Community doesn’t mean that we all need to look, think, act and speak alike. Within community, we should be able to help others identify what makes them an individual. We should help others to see where God has gifted them and encourage them to grow in the expression of those gifts. In that type of environment, people feel like they belong and that they are loved for who they are.
In a family, through accountability, support and creating a sense of belonging, we can encourage one another to be more fully the person that God has designed us to be. We all have the tendency to forget from time to time what we were made for and the purpose we have been called to. Living as a part of a family means you always have someone in your corner who will remind you of who you really are when you start to forget.
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5