We are called to show others the goodness of God. We are chosen to share His love with the world.
We are His priests, His ministers to the world, and that includes to each other.
We are united in Christ, and the world needs to see that.
It is only when we are living out the love of Christ with each other that people see the difference and are drawn to the difference that we can truly share the Gospel.
That is why community is so important. Jesus prayed that we would be one like He is one with the Father (John 17). It is not only for our good that we are called to live in community, that we are called to live in love. It is for His glory. It is so that world will see that we are His and that we are different.
Community isn’t about me and it isn’t about you. It’s about Christ.
Community in the church is about living out Christ’s love together so that people see the difference and are saved.
Our hearts are to be knit together in love (Colossians 2:2). Have you ever tried to knit or looked closely at a knitted sweater? It is loop after loop after loop woven together, and as the loops come together they make up a piece of fabric or a blanket or a sweater.
Our hearts and our lives should look like that, interwoven together so that when we come together we make up one body…the body of Christ.
Community should be a safe place where we can be real with each other, where we can admit that we are hurting or struggling, where we can be encouraged, and where can celebrate the good. It should be a place where we can share our stories and live out our stories.
Of course we are imperfect people so we can’t expect our communities to be perfect. There are going to be differences of opinion and people placing their own needs above the needs of the community. There are going to be selfish people, angry people, jealous people, and every other sort of person you can think of.
But even then how we respond to them should be different. We should be loving toward them. We should be treating them how we want to be treated and not responding in the way that they are treating us.
How can we expect others to see their need for Christ if they can’t see the difference in us as individuals and as a community?
We are called to share God’s love with the world, and community is simply one of the ways that we do that.