Last time I wrote on this I wrote about our college church, Living Hope, whose main emphasis was equipping. Now we are currently at a church which focuses on the Gospel, but within that, community. Even more detailed than that, inner church community. I say this knowing that the past few weeks have been specifically on the Great Commission and they still believe in sharing the Gospel, but on a whole, it appears the church is about helping those within the church.
Why do I think this is important to learn?
If you can’t meet new people in the church, how are you expecting to do it outside the church?
This goes back to last time and how our old church required members to meet three new people every week. Church should be the safest place to meet new people and welcome them in. The actual weekly church is a great place to practice hospitality and being welcome to people. From there it can easily move to your everyday life (as it should).
A church community is one that allows you to be open and transparent.
I am not someone who makes deep friendships easily. I’ve gone to 10 schools from kindergarten to college and close to that many churches throughout my life. We’ve moved a lot. You learn that you aren’t going to stay somewhere, so why put in the real effort to get to know people on a deeper level. This isn’t a great habit to have.
We’ve been in Tyler for 2 years as of this coming weekend and I’m married to someone who deeply desires intimate friendships. He is active in making friendships and spending time with people. Some of the people in our church talk about how it takes about two years to start getting to that real level with friendships when you have a family of your own, jobs, and you aren’t living with the person like in college. I finally see what they mean and agree. Depending on the amount of time you’re spending with them, it’ll take about this much time to start getting annoyed, maybe get in a fight, and realize the friendship can stand those types of tests.
Church community is a place where it’s okay for this stuff to happen. Because those friendships should be able to stand these tests. We have God, the Gospel, and lots of grace. We should all be recognizing we are sinners saved by grace.
When you recognize that, you begin to feel welcome to being open and transparent about what’s going on in your life.
It’s written about in the Bible (Acts 2 talks about the fellowship of Believers) which means we should replicate it
They early church was like-minded and began to sell their things and help each other who were in need. Basically- they took care of each other.
Church community is a place to “see a need fill a need”
Is there a family with a new baby? Care calendar sign up for members to help take the load off of that family and bring them meals for a few weeks.
Is there a family that needs help with medical bills? Gifts should be freely given to those people in need.
Within this, as people start filling needs that they see come up, they will begin to see what gifts and talents they have. The rest of the church body can edify and encourage them in these.
It is friendships with like-minded people
Our friendships outside of the church are with people we have something in common, be it work, hobbies, kids, whatever. But those things are fleeting things. They aren’t the “deep stuff”.
Within the church, you may have absolutely nothing else in common but Jesus. And that’s enough.
I’m friends with elementary school teachers, women who love decorating, and girls who do triathlons. All of which I know nothing about. But we all love the same Savior which is a bond that’s automatically quite a bit deeper than any of that superficial stuff.
Inner church community is vitally important. The outside world needs to see we can take care of each other. That we love each other. That it is a welcoming, caring place to join.