Forever Forming in Community

community treeSpiritual formation happens best in community. Value strengthens in relationship. We grow best when we walk along side of others.

The early church practiced this. Read how they did forming community:

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47

Knowledge is garnered not in isolation but in community with others learners. We absorb by discussing, rehearsing, and applying God’s wisdom together. There are teachers and there are students, each learns differently but together. Doesn’t the teacher learn as much if not more than the student? Learning potential is multiplied together.

The fellowship is synonymous with believers’ community. The gathering values presence and participation with others over absence and isolation from one another. A Christ follower makes an honest effort in intentional participation. The fellowship is a picture of the hands and feet; it is the body of Christ thing. By enjoying the presence (not exclusively) of other Jesus followers we develop frameworks for maturity.

The breaking of bread is the conversational meal. One ought not eat alone, but with others while enjoying conversation with each other. The shared meal with other believers is a spiritual oasis – a time to converse about life.

Prays together. There’s growth in sharing one’s burdens, passions, and hopes with others who’ll join you in the seeking. We learn as we hear others pray. There’s incredible strength in knowing others are praying with you. The essence of prayer aligns our passion with God’s; it becomes the surrender of one’s will to His.

Generosity and hospitality are community life expressions. We share burdens, practice kindness, and just plain help. We learn from each other about life and faith as we care for one another.

Formation isn’t a formal destination but a neighboring journey – one we do together. Why all the fuss over community? It’s the way of Christ followers – the way of formation. Be engage, be intentional and be present in your community.