Community: a unified body of individuals; the people with common interests living in a particular area; a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society
We’re all part of some sort of community. Most of us are part of several different communities. A neighborhood association. A service organization. A fraternity or sorority. An alumni group or local PTA. We’ve got friends from high school and college, online friends and friends in real life.
So why is it that somewhere, deep down, we are still longing for community?
Perhaps it’s that none of these communities really connect us in a way that matters. Sure, we are connected by commonalities, but where I went to school or the neighborhood that I live in doesn’t really make that big of a difference in my daily life, does it?
I’m not so sure that it’s just community that we’re seeking. I think it’s a specific kind of community. The kind of community where you are bound together by something greater. The kind of community that helps you become a better person. The kind of community that will look you in the eye and tell you that you’re just not living up to who you’re created to be.
Some of us have experienced this type of community sometime during our lives. Maybe we are currently a part of that kind of community. Or maybe we have found ourselves in a new season of life, with no real community to be a part of. Others of us have read about communities such as these, wondering when we would find one of our own.
Community is more than just a group of friends or acquaintances. It’s a group of people that will really share life with you. A group of people that will be there through the ups and downs. People that really see the beauty of living a life that follows Jesus. People who encourage you to do radical things. Because after all, isn’t that what Jesus is all about?
If we look to the life of Jesus, we see that he calls us to a specific kind of community. A community of integrity, authenticity, and honesty. A community of openness and acceptance. A community of love and accountability.
Christian community is more than just a group of people with common interests. It is a way of life.
How have you experienced Christian community in your own life?
This post is part of the What Is: Christian Community series.