Belonging to an Irresistible Community
In an age of isolation, belonging to community has become more essential than ever for our wellbeing as humans. But what makes Christian community so special, and how can we make it irresistible to those who haven’t experienced anything like it before?
Here’s what a few CPCers had to say:
“I didn’t know Jesus when I was growing up. I was surrounded by unbelievers, so it was easy to ignore God or pretend He didn’t exist. Then during high school, I met my best friend. She invited me into her home and into her family. It was through her family that I was able to first see and experience the love of Christ. From the very beginning of my walk with God, He has used people to reveal Himself to me. In community, I have been reminded of the Lord’s goodness, patience, grace, and forgiveness. We were created to be in community. God shows up in community. Christian community becomes irresistible when we welcome each other into our homes, when we meet each other in times of both celebration and lament, and when we love each other like Jesus loves.”—Marisa Griner
“For a Christian community to be “irresistible,” I believe it needs to be defined by grace—receiving it from the Lord in their individual lives and in their midst. Our culture today is quick to issue judgment, but if we allow ourselves to be immersed instead in God’s grace and dispense that to others, our community will offer sorely needed relief to the world around us. I myself have been deeply impacted by the power of Christian community. During my doctoral program—generally a fairly isolated, individual journey—my small group and church provided me with a home in which I could stay rooted, and they continually breathed life into my weeks. But they also challenged me to give of myself and serve the community, despite the pressures of grad school, since although God may call us individually, He calls us into community as well.”—Justin Buol
“I love being in community with others because I value the give and take of it—sometimes I’m the “needy” one, and sometimes it’s someone else. Sometimes it means providing accountability, sometimes it means offering a reminder of grace that is ours in Jesus. Being in community helps me stay connected to God, simply by having a regular meeting where God is the focus of conversation! But beyond that, I can’t always see what God is doing in my own life, so being in a group can provide a mirror, or someone else to point out where God was at work. My faith grows when I see how God answers the prayers of people around me. It allows me to learn to trust God more by watching the experience of others. I can see how we are able to comfort each other with the strength we have been given in our own struggles.
For me, an irresistible Christian community is one that is open about the challenges of life. It is a community that supports one another in our journey of faith. It creates a safe environment where we can get below the surface—to talk about things that are hard for us and reveal where God may be asking us to step out in faith.”—Karen Draayer