Research shows that people today are more isolated than ever– and it has become increasingly rare for people to gather together in an authentic community! But it wasn’t always this way. The early Christians pioneered a different way of life, and they called it The Way! This was likely based on the words of Jesus in John 14:6, "Jesus told him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life.'" - John 14:6
Jesus knew the way to a life of abundance, full of meaning, joy, and purpose. But many Christians miss out on living life "to the full" (John 10:10). This is because you can’t experience the promises of God without the practices of Jesus. 7 key markers light The Way to life of flourishing with God; the first one is this: Jesus chose the way of intentional community. There are several reasons why intentional community is an essential practice of Jesus.
GOD LIVES IN COMMUNITY
Genesis 1:26 says, "Then God said, 'Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.'" Our God is a triune, relational God who exists in a dynamic, loving community. The Bible says that before humanity existed the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit shared a continuous love & fellowship that exist only in community.
WE WERE CREATED FOR COMMUNITY
At the beginning of Creation, God deemed the creation of man very good and man being alone not good. Especially among Millennials and Gen Z, we are in an epidemic of loneliness. Despite being the most digitally connected generation, isolation is at an all-time high. Research actually shows that connecting with someone outside your immediate family has almost double the impact on curing loneliness over things such as music and media. Apart from being Biblical- the benefit of community is scientific!
JESUS CHOSE INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY
When Jesus began his ministry, he essentially created a diverse small group of teenagers and young adults to live in community together. These were men who had no business being friends! But Jesus intentionally chose them to grow in loving community despite their different backgrounds, experiences, economic status and ethnicities. This is a model for the type of community we should pursue today.
THE CHURCH IS THE NEW COMMUNITY OF JESUS
In the New Testament, the Church is called “the Body of Christ” and the New Family of Jesus. When Jesus died for us and conquered sin and death by rising from the dead, we became “brothers & sisters” in Christ- every tribe, nation, and tongue! Not only so, but in some mysterious way, Jesus is present when we gather in small groups of believers (Matthew 18:20). When we study his Word together, pray together, or share our stories, we can hear the voice of Jesus and experience his presence in a way we can’t all by ourselves.
God is calling you out of Isolation and into an authentic, loving community. You weren’t designed to do life or practice your faith alone. If you’re going to flourish the way God designed you, intentional community is The Way!
For more encouragement, support, and tools to equip you, we encourage you to check out these additional resources:
🔶 JOIN A SMALL GROUP: Small Groups are a great way to grow in your faith, connect with new friends, and serve others. Click here to find a small group that’s a good fit for you!
🔶 BOOK: Check out this book from Justin Kendrick called The Sacred Us which is a call for Christians to live in radical community! Click Here