Let me make an opening statement “In the Christian community, people grow toward Christlikeness”.
Belonging to a group, any group is not necessarily a “Christ community” this community of Christ when we are truly part we will find growth in spirit, a character that is developing and enlarging, a place where my personal relationships get better and better, it is from this setting we will find a growth in compassion and generosity toward creation and the world around us. I may be part of a group, but group experience should not be confused with being a part of a Christian community.
In this community the realisation is that my growth is in and through the community, that I cannot be independent or distant. It is my relationships that enable growth.
Growth in community was thought of in this quotation
“The renewal of the church will be in progress when it is seen as a fellowship of consciously inadequate persons who gather because they are weak, and scatter to serve because their unity with one another and with Christ has made them bold.”
It is in being part of a people group, a community of Christ that when you have become part of not only do you enjoy each other or feed each other and laugh much but you leave the company feeling your inner person is engaged and imparted to. The community of Christ press and spur each other onward. Find a people that will enable you to witness and feel a definite enlargement in soul-satisfaction.
This Christ community is a community that will grow to a place where every one participates, every one has a contribution. Most of us live in a world where the few do the most, I recall being told its the 80-20 rule, where 80% of the work is done by 20% of people (called the Pareto Principle), it worked on every level where 20% of people give 80% of money as well. This Christ Community should not fit the rule. It is a community where every one gives themselves to form the community, to see Christ in every one. I wonder if this is one reason that communities are often smaller that we think. It is people committed to be the one the forms live for all.
My hope is we take right now the responsibility to make community happen. It is not getting a group of people in a room or going from coffee shop to coffee shop, but a people who are making a deep sense of one – connectedness, creating a place where every one can speak openly, not dominated by any one, there is openness in the atmosphere here. A time to experience the unusual presence of Jesus. Be careful some just don’t want to go there and use any way to detract the direction of community from forming.
We have those who want to be part but don’t know what it is to open up and vulnerable, not willing to open their hearts, participate, finally take responsibility when we are doing something together. Realise that not everyone is ready to enter into a community of Christ, which is highly purposeful.
Community only happens when there are mutual commitments.
Sometimes it needs to be said that this is a people group forming community for all, No one sits outside the circle, No one remains aloof from the conversation, No one is a mystery to the group.”
One of the great Christian writers, that has modelled many by his words is Dietrich Bonhoeffer, he was very clear that he could not survive without Christian community.
He wrote: “But if there is so much blessing and joy even in a single encounter of brother with brother, how inexhaustible are the riches that open up for those who by God’s will are privileged to live in the daily fellowship of life with other Christians. It is true, of course, that what is an unspeakable gift of God for the lonely individual is easily disregarded and trodden under foot by those who have the gift every day. It is easily forgotten that the fellowship of Christian brethren is a gift of grace, a gift of the Kingdom of God that any day may be taken from us, that the time that still separates us from utter loneliness may be brief indeed. Therefore, let him who until now has had the privilege of living a common Christian life with other Christians raise God’s grace from the bottom of his heart. Let him thank God on his knees and declare: it is grace, nothing but grace, that we are allowed to live in community with Christian brethren.” (Life Together and The Cost of Discipleship)