The Constants of Church Community

“Community” is one of our highest values at Church Community Builder. So much so, we made it part of our name. In fact, as we closed the books on 2012, we did not celebrate the number of new churches who partnered with us, nor did we celebrate another year of phenomenal growth. What we always celebrate is the stories we heard throughout the year about churches who leveraged our technology and coaching to create a greater sense of belonging and community for their people.

As we’ve heard these stories over the years, there’s one principle we’ve noticed time and time again:

Where community is fostered, authentic life change is experienced.

So, if you’re focused on fostering a greater sense of community for your church in 2013, what can you expect? Here are three things I know for sure.

  • It will be messy.
    Where people are involved, so remains the potential for messiness. The messiness of community might make us uncomfortable but that vulnerability and openness leads to authenticity. And authenticity is the building block of relationships, and relationships are the building blocks of communities.
  • More programming won’t necessarily bring more community.
    In the 21st century, our inclination is to over program. And sometimes over programming can fill our church body’s schedules so much that authentic community is not given the proper margin time to form naturally. Take the beginning of the year to look at all your special events, programs, and initiatives and see what can be improved and what can be eliminated. Sometimes the best move you make is saying “no” to something new.
  • You will need community as much as it needs you.
    The church is filled with people. And people are complicated. You’ve probably been tempted at some point to step away from the church after being hurt, upset, or disappointed by people. Believe me, I get it. But while community is often complex and can get downright dirty, don’t forget to tell your congregation the point of all of this: We are there to worship God and worship Him in relationship with fellow believers. We’re not meant to do it alone.

What misconceptions have you had about community? 

Read more from Steve here.

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Steve Caton

Steve Caton

Steve Caton is part of the Leadership Team at Church Community Builder. He leverages a unique background in technology, fundraising and church leadership to help local churches decentralize their processes and equip their people to be disciple makers. Steve is a contributing author on a number of websites, including the Vision Room, ChurchTech Today, Innovate for Jesus and the popular Church Community Builder Blog. He also co-wrote the eBook “Getting Disciple Making Right”. While technology is what Steve does on a daily basis, impacting and influencing the local church is what really matters to him……as well as enjoying deep Colorado powder with his wife and two sons!

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
— Dave
comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
— Argaw Alemu
comment_post_ID); ?> Amen!!
— Scott Michael Whitley

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