Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
Last week I wrote about the importance of community within the church. The church is not to be a place where we come, sit through a worship service, and then leave. The church is the people who are drawn to God and to one another. Together we are able to grow deeper in our faith, meet the needs of one another, enjoy rich fellowship with one another, and love of one another.
One of the points I emphasized is that community cannot be found, it can only be built. We cannot experience the community of others, but only the community that we help foster. American pastor and author James Emory White puts it like this: “One of the great myths of relational life is that community is something found. In this fairy tale, community is simply out there – somewhere – waiting to be discovered like Prince Charming finding Cinderella. All you have to do is find the right person, join the right group, get the right job or become involved with the right church…Community is not something you find; it’s something you build.”
So, how do we go about building community? Not surprisingly, Scripture tells us how. All the “one another” statements we find in Scripture are really a recipe for building community. I won’t list them all here since I did that a few weeks ago, but just to highlight some of them we see that we are to:
Love one another – Jn. 13:34-35
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love – Rom. 12:10
Rejoice and weep with one another – Rom. 12:15
Live in harmony with one another – Rom. 12:16
Stop passing judgment on one another – Rom. 14:13
Accept one another as Christ accepted you – Rom. 15:7
Care for one another – I Cor. 12:25
Serve one another in love – Gal. 5:13
Bear one another’s burdens – Gal. 6:2
Be kind and compassionate to one another – Eph. 4:32
Forgive one another – Eph. 4:32
Bear with one another – Col. 3:13
Encourage one another – I Thes. 5:11
Build up one another – I Thes. 5:11
Pray for one another – Jas. 5:16
Offer hospitality to one another – I Pet. 4:9
As we strive to put these into practice, praying that God will help us do this, we will enjoy a rich sense of community at IBCZ. We will be encouraged as individuals and we will be strengthened as a church.
Next week I will share some final thoughts on community.
Grace and peace,