Considering Community

Our MasterLife study this week is on following the new command: to love one another as Christ has loved us. Our 40 Days of Community is on the "new command"...to love one another. Truly love. Real community.

Perhaps sometimes we get so stuck on the informal, town word, "community", that we forget what koinonia...the Greek word for it...means. Sharing things in common.

When I think about it, one test of this word is: how many people knew when you were in your worst mood last week? A lot of people may know the highlights. How many know the lowlights also?

Who do you call?

Do you have anyone to call?

This kind of community is not happenstance. It is often a gift, yes, but also our job to seek out and build. To have the kinds of people in our lives who see us as we truly are, even when we are down. We may not even know we've slipped, slowly, or are in denial...but they do. And their words and actions somehow speak life back into us...inspire...challenge...bring hope...rejoice in growth...edify.

There is truly nothing greater in the body of Christ than this capacity for true friendship. You know...the words that remind you to rest...deep down soul rest. Afterwards, you get a good nights sleep. You feel like, for the first time in many days, your mind has been at peace, in trust, faith-filled. You wake the day with a desire for order and ambition! Life!

So often, even our "small groups" are just teaching groups...prayer request groups for ailments of all sorts...emergency crisis groups...ministry groups.

Small groups should be all these things, but they should be more! They should hold deep level community. The best. I want to say "friendships", but honestly, it's not the type of friendship you normally cultivate. It's much more like family. You may or may not be "buddies" with the person. This kind of community is not to be abused or taken for granted. It is to be cultivated with high levels of wisdom and maturity and checks, for we are human and we are very prone to failure in our closeness...but community. Women mentoring women. Men mentoring men.

Do you have this kind of community?

Again...think about it. How many people knew of your worse day last week, or this month? Who were they? In the church, or not? Why or why not? If so, were you just complaining, or were you opening yourself up to solid, prayerful, faith-filled community?

I thank God He is growing me back into "real" community after a period of time with Him this summer. I could not live without people who can ask me hard questions, make me think, and raise me up when I've hit bottom. I long to be that kind of friend to more people.


1 comment:

Carlos said...

I've got a good base community. the cool thing is that we are all over the country. Some here is So Cal. Terrible Speller's husband Eric in the ATL. For me is is tough since I am a pastor. Wishing everyone was on the same maturity level and knew pastors are people too is not the case. So I have to find community outside of my community if that makes sense.