I have written a fair amount on the subject of community, mainly because it has taken up a large chunk of my reading and thinking over the past five months. Community is what we have been saved into. We have been saved from our self centred, self loving spiral into a loving community with the triune God and with His people. Holiness is something every Christian should hunger for, but often when I think of holiness I think of solitude. I imagine a cottage by the sea, secluded from the world where man and God can be alone. But that is worldly foolishness. Holiness is a community things. We cannot change on our own.
Have a read of Ephesians 4. While you’re at it, read the whole book. look at what it means to be a Christian, identify what you have been saved from and what you have been saved into. Read verse 16 (of chapter 4). ‘From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.’
We need each other in this community of change. But let us not delude ourselves. These communities will be messy. We will wind each other up and bug each other. This is not a perfect community. But how we react to this messiness will define whether these communities are changing communities. Will we fly off the handle? Or, will we act in love and patience?
Praise God that he doesn’t leave us in these communities to get on with it ourselves. These communities should be with God, and through God, building one another up in maturity of Christ.
Why not read ‘You Can Change’ by Tim Chester to read more on change and community. It’s a good read.