It’s been on my mind a lot lately. Community. What does it look like? How does it function? Where do we find it?
The church seems to tell us that we find Christian community by going to church, going to church functions, and being at church. My own church context seems to communicate that community comes from going to “fellowship” events. And now, the seminary is telling me that Christian community means being involved in a small group that meets on a regular basis.
First, let me make this clear: none of those things are bad. I think going to church is important. I even think being involved in a small group can be a really good thing, and a great way to develop community.
For me, though, Christian community doesn’t look like that. (And apparently, I’m not alone.) Sure, I have a small group that I’m meeting with at school. I also attend church on a regular basis. I am even regularly involved in church functions. Yet, I would argue, that my primary experience of intimate Christian community doesn’t come from any of these things.
I have had some experiences with genuine Christian community that have been irreplaceable in my life. One such community was with my fellow staff members at Camp Mowana. Another community that has grown increasingly important to me in the past couple years has been that developed with my fellow tour mates on Spoke Folk.
Now, the sense of community in these cases is obviously intensified during the time spent living, working and serving together. However, for me, these communities remain an important part of my sense of community even after we’re dispersed throughout the country.
So, there’s a bit of rambling on the subject of Christian community. I’m pretty sure this processing is just getting started.
What does Christian community look like in your life?