In our increasingly secular world, the term Christian community has become sort of a sore spot even among believers. John D. Rockefeller said, “There is nothing in this world that can compare with the Christian fellowship, nothing that can satisfy but Christ”.
If you have ever wondered What does the Bible say about community? Why is Community important in Christianity? Or even how do you find Christian community? This is the post for you! In today’s article, we will explore 15 Bible verses about community.
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What Does The Bible Say About Community?
The Bible has a lot to say about community, but first let’s explore what the Christian community is and what it is not.
What Christian Community Is Not…
Christian community is not just hanging out with other Christians. Sure, going to a movie or playing basketball with other believers is fun. Those activities might be a fun part of a secular community, but that is not all a Christian community should be.
Attending a youth group or a young adults group is not community. That oftentimes becomes an odd social structure where believers all interact together without actually following the commands of scriptures to go out into the world and “make fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). If there are only people like you in the community (same age, same socioeconomic bracket, same jobs, same place in life) then this is most likely not a mature Christian community.
Christian community is also not simply attending the same church. While I may live in a certain town if I don’t actually know the names of the people on my street, are they still my community? I would say no. They may be a part of the secular community in which you live, but if you never interact with them or if you don’t know their names you can’t call that community.
What Christian Community Is…
When we are acting in the interests of Christ’s kingdom with other believers, that is being a part of a Christian community. This can take many different shapes, but there are clear markers for what a Christian Community looks like.
Community is a Kaleidoscope of People
A true Christian community will be made up of people from different races, backgrounds, skill levels and stages in life. Romans 12:16 tells us to, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”
You should see young children and the grey hair of wisdom. You should see new parents, and empty nesters. You should see families adopting and communities supporting them. You should see people of many different races and ethnicities. A true Christian community will be diverse and multidimensional.
If the community that you are interacting with is all one age, race, or socioeconomic group you might want to take a look at what is preventing others from joining this community.
Community is a Powerful Forge
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 27:17 that “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens the face his neighbor.”
Think about that for a second.
The sharpening of iron is a dangerous thing. The temperatures are hot, the work is hard. Metal is being shaped and changed. God tells us that as believers we sharpen one another.
The community that you are a part of should be sharpening you for the Lord’s work. If it isn’t then it is time to find your forge. You want to be part of a community that is so on fire for God that you can’t help but to be molded to be more like Christ.
Community is a Proving Ground
A strong Christian community should be a proving ground for our faith. A mature and godly community is not afraid to call out believers when they start to stray from the Bible.
Regardless of creed or denomination if a community of believers is altering or omitting parts of the Bible to keep the congregants in the pew, this is no longer a community in which the truth is preached.
Sadly this is becoming all too common and we can expect it to become even more so. 2 Timothy 2 4-3 tells us that, “the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
A solid community of believers will be able to discern truth from lies and facts from fiction. Not only will they discern it, but they will actively speak up against it. They will encourage you to read the Bible for yourself and to pray fervently for God’s will to be front and center in the church’s decisions.
The church as a community proving ground means that you can bring your ideas, questions, and concerns. The community of believers should be able to help you walk through and refine your faith as you mature in your walk.
Bible Verses About Community
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:42-47
Why Is Community Important In Christianity?
We need Christian community because living life as a follower of Christ means going against the grain. In a culture that teaches selfishness, aggression, and power, we should be modeling selflessness, kindness, and humility.
We Need To Grow
Learning to live as a follower of Christ is not easy. It takes work and is something best done by watching mature believers as they go through life. Then as you mature in your faith you allow those who are younger in their faith to watch you as you model Christ-likeness.
In the Epistles we find a good model of what a Christian community should look like in Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy.
Paul is the person charging after Christ. The person who shows you what it looks like to die to self and live for Him. This person is doing what God called them to do and is unabashed about proclaiming the gospel.
Barnabas is the person who walks alongside you. They are likely in a similar place in life and or faith. You may have similar struggles. These are your spiritual brothers and sisters with whom you may form relationships built on studies, accountability, and worship together.
Timothy is the person that is watching you. This person is more recent to the faith than you are and is looking to you to learn more. They want to learn and grow in Christ.
I have heard it said that all believers should have a Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy in their life.
Hard Times Will Come
Do you know the story of Ruth and Naomi?
Quick synopsis (if you want to know more read the book of Ruth!) Ruth was Naomi’s daughter-in-law. Naomi’s son/Ruth’s husband died. Naomi told Ruth to leave her and remarry someone from her own country while Naomi went back to be with her people. Ruth refused and went with Naomi even though it wasn’t a sure (or necessarily safe) future. Ruth was faithful and there for Naomi during her times of despair.
There will come times in your life when you will be filled with despair, when you think your heart will break. Having a Christian community at your side during those times is invaluable. Being able to turn to the body of Christ and ask for prayer, support, or aid can make all the difference when the trials of this life feel like too much.
Bible Verses About Connecting With Others
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20
How Do You Find Christian Community?
My husband is in the United States Army. That means that we move every 24-36 months. We start completely over in a new town, new house, and new church community. One of the things that I have gotten really good at over the course of our military adventure is finding strong Christian communities to be a part of. And it isn’t terribly hard to do.
Community In Your Zip Code
Put your zip code and the word church into your preferred search engine.
If denomination is important to you, weed them out that way after zip code. Then go to the remaining churches’ websites and look at their statement of beliefs. (If they don’t have a statement of beliefs they are immediately a no-go for me.)
The reason to start in your zip code is because community is built through living life together. If you have to drive an hour to get to church you aren’t likely to spend much time with this community during the week.
Community in Action
Take a look at what this church supports.
Is this church community involved with any parachurch organizations? What ministries does it give to? What missionaries does it support? Does this church community have a program or method to support adoption, foster care, widows?
One of the telltale signs for me has been churches that host AA, SA, or Celebrate Recovery meetings during the week. They tend to be ready to be the hands and feet of Christ rather than just putting on a show on Sundays.
Community at Work
Does this church community… leave the church building?
It is crucial in my opinion to have a community of believers that go out into the world and tell the world about Jesus. If your church community is not getting out of the building and telling others then you aren’t being a church, you are being a club.
What does the outreach with this community look like? Is it all fun and light (VBS, kids camps, youth groups) or do they get in with people that need help too? Jail ministries, crisis pregnancy ministries, homeless ministries, immigrant ministries say a lot about the heart of the community. Make sure you listen.
Bible Verses About Community Outreach
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. James 2:14-17
God Created Us For Community
At the end of the day, where you get involved and how you get involved is much less important than simply making the choice to be involved. Community can help to sharpen and form your faith while you are learning. Community should help give you a place to test your faith and grow in wisdom. Christian community should point you back to Christ, over and over again, no matter how many times that you stumble or fall. The goal of a Christian community is not to hang out with people like you, but rather to learn and grow from people who are following Jesus.
Morgan is a Texas-loving, succulent-cultivating, book nerd and aspiring author. Stationed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this Army wife is learning to train dogs, developing her four young children, and tackling homeschool life… while moving all over the country. You can find more of Morgan’s thoughts, book reviews, and resources on her blog.
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