Practicing community

One of the real needs among young Christians and older Christians alike is a sense of community. We need to find ourselves connected to Christ’s body just as we are connected to Christ himself.

I don’t think liturgy alone is enough to accomplish that. What I mean is, if all we do is worship in the same place at the same time, I don’t think we will build community.

Community can be built on Sunday morning, but it happens through greetings, conversations, hugs, smiles, tears, testimonies, confessions, shared prayers… things that may or may not happen during our structured worship hour. If our members arrive right on time, worship in isolation, then leave right after the closing prayer, they won’t experience community.

We need to talk with one another. Not just small talk. Actual conservations.

We need to eat together. That’s something that’s in danger of being lost in today’s church. Meals are not a distraction nor frivolous entertainment. They are a crucial part of our life together.

We need to pray together. I’d love to see us reach the point where the clusters of conversation in our meeting places regularly evolved into clusters of prayer. If someone tells you good news, why not offer a prayer of thanks? If someone mentions an illness, why not pray for relief? What if each conversation regularly led us to a time of prayer?

One danger of teaching these things to new Christians is that they won’t necessarily see them in older Christians. (Won’t necessarily see them in me!) But if we begin teaching new generations a better way, maybe we’ll motivate ourselves to practice community in a more open way.

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