Connect, Lead, Equip: 3 Aspects of Community
We all have an important role to play in our communities. The better we understand the root of community, its importance, and what it truly looks like, the more effective we can be as leaders at work, church, and local community projects. Church is community, so let’s examine it and contemplate what example that community sets for all communities we’re involved in. Community is not a buzzword or a fad based on cultural shift. It’s deeply rooted in the character of God and His design for His people.
Consider the following three foundational realities of community.
3 Aspects of Community:
1) God exists in eternal community –
Community is modeled after God. God has eternally existed in the friendship of Himself. He is one God, but three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is the Triune God who has never been alone or lonely. He exists in a perfect love relationship, in harmony of person and purpose. And we are created in His image. We are made to relate to others.
2) Jesus modeled the need for community –
One of the very first things Jesus did after beginning His public ministry was select twelve disciples from among the broader group that traveled with Him. Within that group of twelve, He was particularly close with three. When life got extremely crazy He leaned into them. And when Jesus sent the disciples out, He never sent them out alone.
3) Scripture instructs us to live in community –
The New Testament has an abundance of passages that describe how we are to interact with one another. Those Scriptures all assume we are sharing our lives with one another. We are commanded to love one another, encourage one another, care for one another, serve one another, bear one another’s burdens, be at peace with one another, wash one another’s feet, respect one another, submit to one another, forgive one another, comfort one another, pray for one another, confess our sins to one another, and be hospitable towards one another. Every one of these commands requires that we are in relationship with each other.
We can’t get away from the biblical reality that community is God’s design and intent for each of us. And each church is God’s design for community that we are destined to experience here and now. Our purpose is to live in fellowship with God and each other. The present nature of all churches is determined by what the Church is destined to become (the eternal, loving community of God). We are called to live in the present light of the glorious future that awaits us. Churches are not just a collection of people, but a relational community. As members of churches, we have the opportunity to also reflect healthy community behaviors in our workplace and in our local communities.
In our fast-paced society where businesses and churches are too busy for relationships, connecting doesn’t just happen. It is up to each of us to be a leader in our sphere and to help build community.
How do we do this? How can we develop the fabric of community life in the in the face of individualistic living? The main answer is to focus on building relationships.