We were made to be in relationship. In Genesis 2 God created Adam and puts him in charge of the earth. He soon realized that “it is not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). So God made Eve to be in relationship with Adam. Relationship and community are not just nice aids to life, but the essence of life itself. The culture we live in today, including the Christian culture, puts a large emphasis on the individual. It’s all about you. The ideology is that everything is about you, even the community you are a part of. In a lot of ways community has lost it’s true meaning and purpose. Especially in a society that focuses so much on me.
The main thing to understand about biblical community is that God desires to create to himself “a people.” He wants us to be in fellowship with each other with him. In Exodus 6: 7 God says, “ I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God.” Paul writes, “Jesus Christ gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession” (Titus 2: 13b-14).
God does not merely want create isolated individuals who believe in him, go to church twice a week, and then spend the rest of their week with no Christian fellowship. “The church lies at the very center of the eternal purpose of God. It is not a divine afterthought. It is not an accident of history. On the contrary, the church is God’s new community. For his purpose, conceived in a past eternity, being worked out in history, and to be perfected in a future eternity, is not just to save isolated individuals and so perpetuate our loneliness, but rather to build his church, that is to call out of the world a people for his own glory” (The Living Church. Pages 19-20).
“The prevailing view of life today is that of an individual standing on his or her own, heroically ‘juggling’ various responsibilities: family, friendships, career, leisure, chores, decisions, and money. We could also add social responsibilities.”
“From time to time the pressures overwhelm us and we drop one or more of the balls. All too often church becomes one of the balls. We juggles our responsibilities for church just as we do our responsibilities for work and leisure.”
“An alternative model is to view our various activities and responsibilities as spokes of a wheel. At the center or hub of life is not me as an individual, but us as members of the Christian community. Church is not another ball for me to juggle, but that which defines who I am and gives Christlike shape to my life.” (Total Church. Pages 42-43).
What if instead of having church be another thing to juggle on our list of commitment and activities, it became the focal point of our activities and commitments?