Community is one of those buzz words in the church world...one that's been around for awhile. We talk about community within the walls of the church and outside the walls of the building. Community can be used to describe the family of God or the body of Christ, and it is also associated with what some call the missional or incarnational movement that has currently swept the church world today.
I'm learning more and more about this word each day. To me community is a movement, a choice, a way of life. Community is an active word. To be in community with another person implies that you work on developing some sort of relational connection with this other person. Community doesn't exist without people, and I'm not sure it truly exists without Jesus in the mix.
The thought that is rattling around my brain today about community is simply this: The truth is that the strength of any community is found in the lives of its’ individuals.
We love to measure growth and strength by tangible things like numbers, but true authentic growth is defined by something outside of the numerics. I'm 28 years old, but that number doesn't define me, and it doesn't tell you anything about who I am, what I love or what I'm striving for. It only tells you that 28 years ago I was born into this world.
When a group of people commit to loving and living in the ways of Jesus, true community happens. And where true community happens, life change is a reality. We talk about desiring change and wanting to make a difference in our world. This difference and this change begins with community, and community begins with one individual at a time.
I don't have much to offer the world around me, but my hope is that my pursuit of community through loving and living like Jesus will be a light that points to the hope that Christ is for our world today. Beyond that, I have no desire or dream.