Christian Communty

We talk about one of the elements of growth as Christians is our association with other folks striving to become better disciples. We associate with them to help bear each others burdens.. We call it a community of faith. We worship together, we reach out in the community together. We work in the church together.

But do we have a handle on what real community is all about. Dr. Scott Peck, who wrote such books as People of the Lie and , The Road Less Traveled. stated that although the early church was a model of community, today’s churches are harder to build community. Peck sees most of today’s church congregations as merely pretending to be communities. Why?
Because communities require work and what he calls discomfort. He sees two. main reasons for the church’s unwillingness to become real communities.

First of all, building communities requires work and time and few people are willing to give that much work and time to the church. Secondly, church congregations are rarely willing to go through the pain of times when everything seems to be falling apart, yet such times are necessary. To achieve real community, these tensions and conflicts must be openly dealt with.  Churches usually see conflict as something to be avoided.

But in real community people don’t feel that they must hide their real selves or stifle conflict. They feel free to speak of what really concerns them most. According to Peck, another important part of developing “real community” is that it must have support at the top. If so, community can be accomplished.

What ever your church, you and your congregation need to understand that God is in control. Real community is built by giving up control, then comes freedom and creativity. So what we need to do is to make a concerted effort to be a community of faith that will help shape and form, take care of and lead each other to a greater understanding  of our relationship with Jesus Christ and which will lead us to do effective ministry together.  I want to end this with a sad story. The board of a church was having a heated discussion about some project of the church. Finally the pastor said. ” I think we ought to pray to God for direction” From the end of the table came the exclamation  “What does God have to do with this!”  Well, God has everything to do with our church, our community, our family and our lives. Amen



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