“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” 1 John 1:7.
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching…” Hebrews 10:24.
Christian community should not be about being in a social clique and it should extend beyond attending church. What it should be about is a body of believers coming together as one in Christ to share, love and care for one another. We should come together as the body of Christ to pray and worship with one another. We also should come together to help meet the needs of others. If we study the meaning of Jesus’ example of foot washing, we can learn the character of our Savior and see how he models humility and love (John 13:1-17). It's important to fellowship, serve and share your time with others. It's also just as important to allow your community to love you and serve you in your time of need.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you…” John 13:34-35.
“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” Galatians 5:13.
In Christian community you can gain Christian companions who are like-minded and striving toward the same goal in Christ. A community of believers can relate to one another and help one another to grow in the knowledge and understanding of Christ. It is essential for our spiritual growth and survival as the body of Christ!
“ Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind” Philippians 2: 1-2.
I've become increasingly aware of my need for Christian community more than ever in my current circumstances. I wonder at times how I ever got along without it! It’s not that I did not have the opportunity to be a part of Christian community in churches I had attended in the past; I just did not understand or know how to function and be a part of this type of community. What bothered me most was that I didn't feel connected no matter how much I tried to fit into Christian community and I grew frustrated. It was unfamiliar and I felt odd and out of place.
I prayed and asked God to show me where I was going wrong. I wanted to feel connected, and I wanted to serve. He answered and led me to a place that not only helped me understand Christian community but also helped me begin to get to the root issue of my struggles. Again it felt odd and I was completely out of my comfort zone especially since I did not know anyone, but I didn’t give up! The more I leaned on God and trusted Him, the more He opened my heart and helped me!
Today I am happy to say that by God's grace I am connected to a great community of believers and it has been such a blessing. I receive great support and guidance, and I no longer try to struggle to make sense of things on my own.
If you haven't found Christian community within your church, seek God for direction and talk to your Pastor. I believe if I had known how to better communicate my struggles with my Pastor, it might have made the difference.
Grace & Peace