Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Fellowship and Community

I've been in a number of places that stress "fellowship" or "community." The words are meant to signify spending quality time together. More often than not, it simply plays out as a bunch of activities.

Unfortunately, it often ends up feeling empty, like words thrown around only for marketing purposes, or to make people feel like they are accomplishing these things.

The problem is true fellowship, if we mean getting to know others, doesn't happen only by spending more time with a person or group of people. Truly getting to know someone requires a heart that humbly desires to know others.

That's why the sermon and teaching at church are so important. The Word of God is powerful and helps us to see ourselves humbly, Christ's work for us, and the Holy Spirit's help in our lives to truly want to love others.

Pastors and churches prioritize what they will focus most on. For some, the sermon might drop to the lowest in the list, because they sense that is what people expect: more community time, which means less of one person talking. But the problem with this is that it's missing what helps create a true, warm community.

Also, often in situations where community is strongly stressed, people start to expect everyone has the same likes and thoughts, because any differences might hurt the "community" from always being a solid group. However, this is actually hurting community because loving someone requires respecting them and their thoughts and lives, even if those are different than yours.
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