Building Community

Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
One of the common themes we’ve encountered in our sermon series on The Church has been community. Several whole sermons were devoted to this (“What Is the Church?” which highlighted the church as the people of God being called together; and “The Church: A Committed Fellowship” which focused on our relationships with one another).
Community is the word we use for what we experience in a group where all people are loved, supported, and valued. It’s when people are there for each other to celebrate each other’s joys, to grieve with those who are hurting, and simply to spend time together in the normal routines of life. It is to walk with one another in our life journeys.
Community is something all people – Christian or non-Christian – value. There is a sense of community within God for God Himself is a relational Being, eternally existing as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Since human beings are created in God’s image, we also are relational beings. In other words, to thrive we need community. It may take the form of a marriage, a close friendship, a club, or the church, but community is essential for our well-being.
Often when people are looking for a church to attend or join, finding a sense of community is one of their priorities for a church. On the one hand, this is commendable, but at the same time it is misguided. For the fact is, we can never find community; we can only build community.
Community happens as people relate to each other in wholesome ways. You cannot find community because even if you discover a group or a church where the people do experience genuine community with each other, for you to experience that same sense of community you must actively enter into it; you must engage with the people. You cannot experience their community; you can only experience the community you actively participate in, doing those things that nurture genuine community. You have to do the same things they are doing that enables them to enjoy authentic community. Community happens between people, so you cannot experience it from the outside.
Next week I will write about how we can go about building this kind of community at IBCZ.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Bob

Post a comment

Print your tickets