Why Christian Community?

18 06 2013

This Sunday at Quest we experienced a powerful story of Christian community at its best. It was a story of a Quest home group coming around one of its own to not only meet several very practical needs, but to love, support and encourage her through the tough work of healing from past shame, guilt and fear. It was a beautiful story. It was a redemptive story. It was a story that caused me to fall more deeply in love with The Church.

What’s more, this story was eerily similar to the experience of the Acts 2 church: They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers. Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met. They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved. (Acts 2:42-47 – The Message)

At Quest we believe in the power of Christian community. Here are three reasons I shared on Sunday why Christian community is so important for any follower of Jesus Christ:

  1. So you’re not alone. God’s Word is clear – It is not right for man to be alone (Genesis 2:19). You were created to do life together with others. You were created for dependency. You were created for relationships. Practically speaking, this life is full of joys and sorrows, and your Christian community surrounds you in both to support you and celebrate with you. However, if you’re seeking out community simply so you’re not alone, it will fall short of “Christian community.” That leads us to #2 and #3
  2. So you become more like Jesus. It’s in Christian community where you best experience sustained life-transformation – transformation from your old life to your new life in Christ. You and I need others to help us grow to know, love and follow Jesus wholeheartedly. In Sunday’s testimony we heard how the home group lovingly encouraged their member to face her fears and to deal with her feelings with guilt and shame rather than run away from them. The group didn’t do the work for her, but they came alongside her to help her become more like Christ. You can call it accountability, support, or encouragement, but whatever you call it, it’s powerful.
  3. So the world can see Jesus. Most of us are plagued with a self-centered, individualistic view of things. So most times when we consider our Christian witness in the world around us, we think individually. But the truth is, in the early church, it was the witness of the Christian community that compelled those on the outside to WANT Jesus. If you don’t believe me, re-read Acts 2:42-47. If you still don’t believe me, read Jesus’ prayer in John 17 (especially vs. 20-23). Christian community done right draws people to Jesus. And isn’t that what our mission from Jesus is all about?

Maybe it’s time for you to step into Christian community. Or, if you already are, maybe it’s time to make your Christian community reflective of the earliest Christian community. And if you do, then watch out world. You’re about to encounter Jesus.

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One response

18 06 2013
Greg Bugbee

A great Sunday!

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