We, in the Body of Christ, can often forget the most important aspects of community as God’s people. Sometimes we can focus on the little things, and forget the most important aspects of what it means to live in community.
If today’s typical Christian community were a car, it would be like emphasizing the hubcaps, rear view mirrors, hood design, paint color, and sound systems, while leaving the standard equipment in the factory! A car without an engine won’t travel very far. Neither will a church, small group, or any group of believers experience God’s best for their community if they are focused on things like curriculum, buildings, programs, bulletin design, number of staff, service times, or how good the worship band is.
I know I’m meddling here. I’m not saying that these things don’t have a part in the equation, but this is why many believers (maybe even those who attend church or a small group) still have a huge void in their lives. They don’t have community and deep transformational relationships with other believers.
Are you experiencing the “standard equipment” of Christian community?
I suggest there are five characteristics of community “standard equipment,” God’s design for the community of His people. If we are not experiencing them, we will probably live with feelings of isolation, loneliness, and an inner awareness that we are not experiencing all God has for us.
Five characteristics of God’s design for His community of people:
- Interdependent relationships
- Authentic relationships
- Transformational relationships
- Redemptive influence (the gospel will flow naturally)
- Lives of Worship (we will praise God 24/7 in every arena of life)
In the weeks ahead we’ll dive into each of these characteristics!