God did not create is to do life alone. He designed us to live in fellowship with Himself and in community with others connected by our common faith. The connected life is lived in healthy interdependent relationships allowing the Body of Christ to function in fullness.
Romans 12:4-5 “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
Community is Healthy and Life Giving – Life-giving community lifts us up and brings out the best in each of us. We use our God-given gifts to love, encourage and serve others as we grow in Christian maturity.
Hebrews 10:24-25 Let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another
It’s been said that one can “show me your friends and I will show you your future.” The truth is that we ultimately become who we commune with. We need to develop community with others that share the core values of our faith and have a desire to grow into their God given potential. We need people in our lives who are authentic and speak the truth in love with our best mutual interests at heart. We also need those that will challenge us and hold us accountable if we are headed down a wrong path.
Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Community is Covering and Protection – One of the realities of life is that we all face trials and adversities. A strong support system around us provides a base of encouragement and protection. We comfort and strengthen each other in our faith with words, physical presence, and prayer. Community gives us the opportunity to point one another to the hope and promises of God while maintaining an eternal perspective amid life’s temporal troubles. Battles are not meant to be fought in isolation. Encouragement and wise counsel are offered by community as we persevere and seek God’s guidance.
Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”
Community is Ministry – Community opens our eyes to the needs of others. We are called out of our self-centeredness and self-absorption with the responsibility to look outward. We seek to strengthen those who are weak and encourage those who are down and out. God calls us to invest in others.
The connected life is a gift from God and is filled with an abundance of blessings through the Body of Christ. When we grow in our relationships with others through authentic and vulnerable community, we are maturing in our relationship with God. We truly are better together.