WHY SHOULD I CONNECT TO THE COMMUNITY?
Every fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ needs to have strong and vital relationships with fellow believers. There is no such thing as a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ who lives in isolation.
Our need for connectedness goes back to the very beginning of the human race. In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” God Himself is a relational being who lives in vulnerable community with the other relational persons in the Trinity. In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make man in our image.” Because we are created in God’s image, we also need to be in community and in relationship with others.
Although we tend to exalt the self-made man, rugged individualist, in reality, people who are relationally isolated in this way are not healthy. In contrast, the Bible says that healthy people are people who are connected with other people in intimate, vulnerable community. Many leaders who have “crashed and burned” have done so by emphasizing their capacity for performance apart from the foundation of healthy relationships.
Jesus modeled biblical community for us by spending the majority of His time with His disciples – teaching, encouraging, and correcting them. They lived, ate, traveled, prayed, and served together. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
Likewise, connecting with other followers of Christ is an essential part of our transformation. True biblical community is more than just having Christian friends. It is a spiritual discipline focused on helping one another become fully devoted followers of Christ. It involves relational intimacy, transparency, vulnerability and accountability. Romans 12:5 tells us, “so in Christ, we (believers) who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” As with our physical body, so it is with the body of Christ – when one part suffers, all suffer. God has designed and gifted our fellow believers in Jesus Christ to perform unique and vital services to help you. Some of these services include being devoted to one another, serving one another, accepting one another, instructing one another, bearing one another’s burdens, forgiving one another, comforting one another, encouraging one another, and looking out for the interests of others, just to name a few!
Fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ are in communities where they are both receiving and giving these things to people on a regular basis. Getting to this level does not happen naturally, it is the result of disciplined Bible study, prayer, and caring for one another. Christianity is a team sport!