The Necessity of Christian Community

“The experience of authentic community is one of the purposes God intends to be fulfilled by the church. The writings of Scripture lead one to conclude that God intends the church, not to be one more bolt on the wheel of activity in our lives, but the very hub at the center of one’s life…..”  Randy Frazee - The Connecting Church

Growing up in Central California, I was very early in life introduced to the natural marvel of Giant Redwoods.  There are 3 "giant" varieties on the planet, and 2 of them are natural residents of California.  There are a ton of things about things about these trees that fascinate me.  One of them is the root system.  

As a rule of thumb, the height of a tree is generally comparable to the depth of it's roots.  However, with a giant redwood, the roots are extremely shallow.  There is a unique strength of the root system which allows these trees to reach the highest heights of any trees in the world and which feeds these giants enough nutrients to sustain them for thousands of years.  The secret is that the roots of these giants are intertwined.  And that is where the trees get the strength to become giants.

The church is designed in the very same way.  Our strength is not found in our individualism, our personal fortitude, our singular accomplishment.  It is found in the intertwining of our lives into a shared faith that extends our spirituality beyond what could be sustained by our individuality.

Of course, the ultimate strength of the church and of believers is in the strength of our Lord, Father, and Spirit God.  But we cannot deny the zenith of God's plan is in the connectedness of His people:  His church.  
What does His Spirit do?  He equips us to serve 'one another.'
What did Jesus do?  He 'built his church,' not built his loosely connected web of folks who happen to have the same faith.  It is the connected church that the gates of Hell cannot prevail against.
What has God always done?  He has elected 'a people' to bear His name.  Not a person...

As Frazee states above, meaningful friendships in a congregation are not one of the available activities provided on a menu of optional courses for an individual to order up when they are in the mood for that, and then to ignore when they are not in the mood.  The community of Christians living life and faith in togetherness IS the church. It is our strength to bring our giftedness together.
It is our hope to bring our service together.
It is our inspiration to bring our offering of praise together.
It is our victory to bring our experiences together.
In all of these ways and in innumerable additional ways, God works in our togetherness.

It is a serious problem in the state of our American churches that togetherness has become so self-serving that when we are not in the mood or when we have more desirable activities available, we evaluate gathering for collective worship as not important...  because it feels less important that what we want for ourselves at that moment.  

But, in the unfolding plan of God, in the witness of the church, in the lives of others who also wear the name of Christ, in honor of God's name and fame - it is ultimately important.  It is central in what makes us the church... what makes us Christian.  Not because of the production that is planned for that gathering, but because of the unity of believers reaching the fullness of Christ together.  See Ephesians 3.

"Let us not forsake the assembling together of the faithful, as some are in the practice of doing..."  (Hebrews 10:25)


  © Blogger template Brooklyn by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP