You know the type of congregation, have at least visited one. You go in, worship, go out, and there may be a bit of hello and a smidgen of banter, but nobody really knows anybody. The church isn’t really a family, a cohesive group, but a collection of individuals who come together for an hour or two a couple of times a week and who then go on their way.
Whether it be a new church, to prevent it from becoming like the description above, or whether it be a church dead in its relationships, the question is this: How can a congregation be a true community?
Please don’t say by loving each other more. That’s a nice, stock answer, and of course absolutely true, but what does that love look like? How does it act? What are the specific, repetitive actions to be taken to make love a practice? What are specific strategies to implement?
Since Jesus said that we will be known in the world by our mutual love, it seems appropriate to consider how to better express it and encourage it among us.
Do we need this kind of conversation? Is it enough of a problem or challenge among us that time devoted to it is well spent?
At least, in a world where people are further apart than ever, where politics is more divisive than ever, where viewpoints and visions clash more intensely than ever, How can a congregation be a true community?
What say you?