The church is the ultimate example of community. Throughout the churches history, it has been the building where community comes together and it is the community of believers itself. It is where believers go to fellowship, learn, worship, and pray. But the Church is also a collection of people who, together, go into the surrounding areas to serve.
One instance of the church as community is immediately following the death of Jesus. After the crucifixion we see his follower scatter, yet they find each other. We see in John 20:19 that they are gathered together behind locked doors. These early believers found what so many people are still seeking today, community. These people took solace in others who were going through the same storms. When times are bad, when the storms of life rage around us, we don’t seek solitude, we seek community. We seek others who can understand us, protect us, and help us understand why. Our churches today are full of people who just want to belong; they just want someone to listen. Today’s church member wants to be talked to, listened to, and shown that they have value. They are seeking answers to questions that only God can answer. They are seeking meaning in their existence. What an amazing community a church can be.
Another instance of the church as community can be found starting in Matthew 28:16. Here as Jesus is ascending into heaven, He tells those assembled there, and us, to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you (NIV)”. So not only are we to assemble together as a community of believers, we are to go into the community that surrounds our churches and minister to them. We are to go where no one else will and do what no one else will.
We are the church; we are the example of Christ to the world. We were not created to just go to a “worship service” on Sundays and offer God 2 hours of our week. We are called to WORSHIP and SERVE. We are called to interchangeably use those words. We are called to be community to those who have none, and we are called to go to them not wait for them to come to us.
What are some ways you are being the C..H..U..R..C..H in your community?