Tuesday, April 03, 2007

what is community?

i've been thinking a lot about church in general and i would love to hear your thoughts on what you think church should be about. i come from several different "types" of churches and we have settled at Christ Community Church which ben and i love. I married into it, but am glad i did. however, i've just been thinking about how important community is and wonder how "tight" community TRULY is. we feel that we have a very "tight" community (close knit, everyone knows everyone and some live around each other). however, it's hard to be tight with everyone you want to be tight with. i have NO idea if this is making sense or not, but just bare with me. CCC prides itself on being close knit and having what true community is. i believe we do have true community. i'm just interested to see what other people believe community to be. do you think it's something where you spend everyday together? is it something where you see each other on sundays and wednesdays and maybe some in between or do you have community because if it you're hurting, you know that you can go to someone whom you might not go to on a daily basis.
i've also bene thinking a lot about friendship and actually "clicking" with people. sometimes it's hard to find that niche. that certain group of people that you long to be with to hang out with. so, what do you do in the mean time? do you sit on your hands or do you get out there and try to figure it all out?
it probably sounds like i'm whining...sorry. i'm not meaning to. i would love to hear your thoughts though on community. please let me know.
God bless your week.


Glenna Marshall said...

I think the community within a local church should always be evolving...as in, people finding ways to be more and more involved in one another's lives. It's a difficult thing to communicate sometimes because we live in a culture where you can basically live your life without actually coming into contact with other human beings at all unless you want to (thanks to this wonderful thing called the internet).

Neighbors aren't as neighborly as they used to be; people just want to be left alone. This has bled into church life also, and because of that, it's hard to elbow your way into someone's life. On the flip side, it's hard to let people into your own life sometimes also. What the church needs is transparency, vulnerability, and unconditional yet confrontational love.

I would like to get to a point where I think of my church now as my family. I definitely was starting to feel that when we were at Cornerstone in Jackson, and now we're getting closer and closer to that with our church here in Sikeston. I think that's part of community....feeling familial. Being open and honest and transparent. And also bearing with other people's transparency and honesty, which at times may mean confrontation over your own decisions. But, accountability is so good. Good for us.
I don't know if I answered your questions at all, but these are the thoughts I had running through my mind after I read this post.

Love ya, girl.

Anonymous said...

I think that a lot of times we are looking to be loved and accepted just as we are. Because of that we can jump around from group of people to group of people waiting for that magic moment where relationships become perfect and we are comfortable in our own skins. When that magic moment never happens, we become disillusioned and may intentionally isolate ourselves.

I think that community (especially in the context of the body of Christ)is the realization of genuine human relationship in spite of our imperfection. It is bearing with the faults of others and being transparent in faith that they will bear with and love us.

Heidi said...

I have to second what anonymous says about jumping around from group to group in a sense. It is very hard to find that niche with certain people. I have found that personally I tend to stay distant to a fault because I don't want to be let down or hurt.
This is an interesting discussion for me as I am making an important decision about church right now and a lot of that is based on how I see that community played out at Christ Community. It has made an impression on me.
I do definately see that community playes itself out in different ways. For example you have been in a way 'community' to me this week by being an encourager and asking how I am. That is something that I treasure and makes me consider you more and more of a dear friend. Having a church where you can go and find people who act like this, who pray for one another regularly, lean on one another, and serve one another...is my idea of community.

Rae Whitlock said...

Nothing substantive to add here, Janie, but this is a good post to think about. Thanks.

nic said...

never a bad thing to ask good questions.

i, for one, have a hard time with this question. most of my life, my "real" relationships were built on the other person's problems, with me listening and encouraging. not that that's bad, but i began to wonder what would happen if i ever had a bad day--would i be listened to as well?

and even at CCC, i would wonder if anyone really wanted to hear what was going on.

at the moment, however, i think i have the community that i've been missing. again, just at the moment, there are people in my life like amy and the denkers and matt and nick who actually, genuinely care about what's going on in my life, no matter how dull or interesting or sad or happy or whatever.

its an old joke, but it rings true: "true friends know you and love you anyway."