Authentic Community

Jesus, people, Jesus and people.   You can’t have one without the other.  You can’t love One without loving the other.

In our individualistic culture, we often think of our relationship with Jesus as merely our own.  We don’t need to connect with other Christians, because our relationship is about us and Jesus.  After all, if we believe He’s saved us, and if we’re spending time reading the bible and praying, we’re good, right?

But, Christianity cannot be worked out in a vacuum.  In addition to our personal time spent with Jesus, it has to be lived out in relationships, in the atmosphere of community with others.

I am a firm believer that the church is not about a building, a set of services or events that are contained within walls.  The church is called to be a community of believers who do life together, whose possessions are common, and whose love is authentic.

People crave community.  We long to be wanted, to fit in, to be cared for.  With every fiber in us, we desire to be loved, to be understood, and to belong.

In talking with one of my Convoy teammates late last night, I began to gain better light on how important it is that we as Christians live in authentic community with others.  During the days of the early church, the way the church lived out life was drastically different than anyone else.  Community, in the context of Christianity was everything.  When you became a Christian, you didn’t just gain Christ, but you also inherited a family of believers.

We, as humans, were created to be with others.  Loneliness and isolation are torture.  We’ll do just about anything to be accepted and loved.

I think in today’s church, we have in a lot of ways, missed the mark.  We claim to care about others, but really just put ourselves first.  We tell others that we really desire to see the lost, found, the blind given sight, and the lame to walk; but we aren’t doing anything to reach out.

Not only are we not living in a way that attracts others to our Jesus, we aren’t actively pursuing those who Jesus loves.  We aren’t meeting the needs of those He has placed around us.  We aren’t extending our hands as if they are His, we aren’t giving of ourselves; we aren’t sacrificially loving.

Where did we go wrong?  What happened?

Please don’t read this post and misunderstand my love for Christ’s Body.  I love the church as a whole, and I love my local church.  I just think it’s tragic that our model of living out life really looks just about the same as the world’s.  Aren’t we supposed to be different?

So, how do we fix it?  I don’t think we can.  But, I think Jesus can.  I think we have to ask Him to restore how we view His people, through the weightiness of the cross.  I think we need to throw the idea that the church is just something that happens on a Sunday morning out the window; and start living out life together.  We need to start seeing each other as family, and honoring each other in our action and our words.

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