“No man is an island entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent,
a part of the main … “[John Donne]
The calculation of success of what we believe and how we live can only be measured in community. There are no kingdoms building Lone Ranger Christians. Jesus was not a hermit or even a monk. He lived in community. He ate with others. He was constantly in demand. His ministry 24/7 was centered not in buildings, academic learning or social programs but in building into the lives of twelve men. He is the model of self-giving. Our job as Christ-followers is to reflect this in our family, co-workers and neighbors. It takes living among others to learn how to love as God loves us. God wants us to move beyond the “Hi. How are you?” “Oh, fine, just fine.” He wants us to nurture authentic relationships with the people He has put around us. The only way that we can reflect God’s love to others is when we have experienced it ourselves first hand. “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” [Corinthians 1:4 NLT]
As we intentionally foster authentic relationships, we demonstrate what Jesus had in mind for life with God in community with God. That community, the local fellowship of believers called church, is all about serving others. As Rick Warren so clearly stated: It is not about me. Community is what God created us to be part of and is His ordained mechanism were He transforms us into the persons He created us to be.