Community is one of the most essential aspects of humanity, we are constantly seeking after acceptance within social circles, moving into new environments that are driven by community, seeking after relationships. Community is a fundamental part of being human, and it should be, especially within the Church. The Church is the body of Christ, literally a community of people gathered together to worship, to pray, to be shaped… but are we fully apart of our community, that is the Church, even more specific your own Church? We were created to be in community, throughout scripture it is evident that community is apart of the image of God, just look at the trinity. Father, Son and Spirit in perfect community with one another while being one God. God made Adam and said “it is not good for man to be alone.” Noah had his family on the Ark, Jesus had twelve apostles, the Christian Church is made up of over one billion people today! Community is apart of our DNA, but are we realizing its importance and the necessity for community?
Ekklesia (the name of this blog) means Church, more specifically it literally references to “the called out ones.” We are people called to be holy by walking in obedience and by having Christ’s righteousness merited to us. The only thing that forms community is the Gospel! Without Jesus at the center of our community, even more importantly our Church, we have simply become apart of just another social circle and we have become people who are more concerned with the social aspect of community than the Gospel forming community. The average American spends almost four hours a day on social media reading what other people think, do and experience… but only stare at a screen. We feel connected through social media because of what sociologists call “group think”. We for a circle of people via social media that think what we think, like what we like and do what we do or often times want to do. Is this community? Is this healthy? Is this shaping us to be more like Jesus or turning us in on ourselves only to live a life of loneliness?
Face to face dialogue is what we yearn for, nothing will have us experiencing more emotions, real healthy emotions than a face to face conversation. Whether it be happiness, sadness, anger or contentment an actual conversation with other people looking into their eyes forces authentic community. Recently I read an article saying that the art of the conversation is lost amongst many millennials because of our extreme use of social media and texting. There are no conversations taking place amongst people anymore, this must not be the case within the Church. Once we as the Church seize to converse with one another, to look one another in the eyes and talk to a brother or sister face to face how will we mourn together when needed? How will we rejoice when the time is right? How will we be shaped more into an image of Christ without vulnerability? Certainly this will not happen without taking part in authentic community that is Glorifying to God by actually talking to one another.
The Church need be a place that walks in brokenness together, not for the sake of realizing our depravity but for the purpose of looking more like Jesus with every conversation ending in prayer, ending in opportunity for accountability and ending with the Holy Spirit working in our hearts. We must be people who do life together, not simply walk through life with one another turning the other way when things get messy but doing life together no matter how messy or how uncomfortable things may get. The Church must be a people who love one another so dearly that we are willing to see someones pain and be an instrument used by God in someone else’s life, to speak truth, to encourage, to lift up one another for the Glory of God alone.