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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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); ?> Are there any reliable statistics about the percentage of church plants that fail after 3 years in the US?
 
— Jon Moore
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 

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