Launching my own blog site has been so enjoyable. What a ride this is turning out to be. Coming at you next, I chose the topic of community. Why? Many reasons, really. Some of you out there I know have been in ministry enough to write a really good blog on community. This is a hot topic. People hear “community” and get excited because that’s something easy to write about. Well, personally, the truth is that if it weren’t for solid, biblical community, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
The reason I came to a right understanding of the true gospel was due to the help of other genuine Christians. In college, I claimed to be a Christian but had no fruit producing in my life because I was not really in a personal union with Christ. Some men at the same college I attended had compassion on me and lived life beside me.
Early on, after I became born again, I discovered more and more about God, and my identity, as I lived among God’s people. I cannot fully tell you how important living within biblical community is. It’s a game changer. Being able to see other Christians who’ve been where you are now and then moved on was huge for me.
Shortly after becoming a disciple-maker, I moved into a house with seven other dudes we called the Lighthouse. We committed ourselves to live in community together, share the gospel together, pray together, eat together, do life together. I lived there for three years.
Now, I realize this was when I was in college and people who’ve graduated then moved on probably live alone or with only a couple others that work all the time. I’m not proposing you must also move in with seven other people. But here me out on some things about community…
Not only is community a command (Heb. 10:24,25), but I believe many of the struggles Christians face today can be erased inside biblical community. Look around in your church. If you listen to what people struggle with- loneliness, depression, faith, knowledge, obedience, repentance, etc.- they can be dealt with. These things don’t have to be life-struggles. Our sanctification in this life will be imperfect until we are in heaven; however, we are able to grow and should grow.
I’m telling you there is more obedience to achieve! And obedience leads to real joy and happiness. The holy man is the happy man. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones, (Prov. 3:7,8). The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it, (Prov. 10:22).
Moving on, take a look at the very nature of God. God, himself, is community. I believe the trinity is completely biblical. Father, Son, Spirit. Three persons. One God. In constant community and fellowship. The trinity is very deep and I am no expert on teaching the theology of God in profound detail. But I do believe in this doctrine. Just wanted to throw the fact that God is community within the trinity.
Being a part of a well-structured, intentional, biblical Bible study group has been explosive for me. When you band together with other soldiers to read God’s Word, pray, fellowship, laugh, and cry together, it changes things. When someone goes to the hospital the group goes too. People text and call each other. Life information is being shared. Experiences are being shared. Bearing one another’s burdens. This is what it’s all about. Don’t you want to share in this gift?
My hope in throwing all this on the table for a minute is for you to check yourself. Literally living in a real community of believers was foundational to the beginning of my walk with Jesus, and remains a vital part of my life. I wouldn’t share this publicly to waste our time. This is really good. If it weren’t for people speaking truth in my life, correcting me in love, walking beside me in darkness, praying for me, serving with me, sharing meals with me, attending class with me, listening to me, inspiring me, pushing me, comforting me, laughing with me, and crying with me, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
I’ve tasted real community and it tastes good. I want you to taste the goodness.
Hold on. There’s a catch… There’s something you need to know from the get-go. Maybe you picked up on this, but in case you didn’t here it is. Community requires vulnerability. It takes openness. Many of you won’t join real community because you’ve been hurt before and don’t want that hurt again.
I digress, haven’t we all hurt God and been taken back? Haven’t we rejected God? Haven’t we all gossiped too? Haven’t we lied, been selfish, been a hypocrite too? We all fall short. God has called his people to forgive as we have been forgiven. This is the gospel. We did not love God, but God, in his love, made us alive in Christ. When we didn’t love him, he loved us. I challenge you. Are you extending this love to strangers and aliens of the gospel? If you love those who love you, what reward do you have? (Matt. 5:46)
Ahh, I feel someone reading this will get it! We get to show love for others not because they love us back (though they do sometimes) but because God loves us, making us able to love others around us. Experiencing the gospel empowers us to continually live in community. Hear that.
We get to enjoy community. What an amazing gift it is to be in Christ and a part of the church. Again, this has been foundational for me living with Christ and I desire that others get to experience what I got to experience. Be in community. Share life with others who have the same mission as you. You do not have to do what you’re doing all alone. I appreciate you hearing my current thoughts on this subject. I am greatly encouraged when posts of mine encourage people like you! Keep on keepin’ on, fam.