What comes to your mind when you hear the word “community”? When people think of community they often think of their neighborhood or local city, which is not a bad thing since it is one aspect of community; but what about biblical community? What does it mean to have community within the framework of the local church?
Here is how we see it: Jesus told us that fellow believers are brothers and sisters in Christ. The relationship we are to have with one another is so close that using the term “brother” or “sister” best conveys the idea of that familiarity we are to have with one another as well as the love we are to have for one another. The New Testament writers pick up on this and refer to other believers as brothers and sisters in their letters to the churches.
So what does this mean? Well, it means we need to be gathering together. In order for real community to occur, you have to be around others. This means trying to live the Christian life in isolation does not work. The book of Hebrews encourages us to keep meeting together and not be discouraged from doing so (Hebrews 10:24-25). We were not designed to live apart from one another.
Gathering together on Sunday for an hour or two is a good place to start, but we really require more. We are told the believers in the early church were devoted to one another and were together often (Acts 2:42-47). As they did this, they grew in their faith and God did amazing things in their midst.
So the ministries we have at Liberty are designed, in part, to help our biblical community flourish. It is a place where people can be encouraged and encourage others. For it is in the context of community that we learn together, grow together, love together, and minister together.