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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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I have found out more. I guess it's all about backing? ReNew doesn't have that. We are a mission church, in a small downtown area. We are a wonderful church though. I guess we also needed everyone to attend and possibly be of service all the time. If I could have it all over to again, I'd participate more, open my mouth more,....IDK, I still am holding onto God's intervention somehow. We have until Sept. 30th.
 
— Linda Speaks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> We are experiencing our church closing at the end of the month. We are all heart broken and agree that this is the best church family we've ever had. I personally can say I am not used to my attendance weekly being so important. I have never been to a start up church. We needed 3 things, an associate pastor, everyone's involvement and money. I cannot believe that the best church for so many people is closing. Being g a forever optimist, I can't help but think God will intervene somehow.
 
— Linda
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree with your 3 must-haves. I would add that the rectors have to call on every member who attends, at least once a year. The existence of a "calling commitee" is just an excuse to avoid making the effort. This is part of #3. If a rector does not like to call on parishioners, then she/he should not be a rector, but should find a different ministry. Carter Kerns, former senior warden, Diocese of Eastern Oregon and lifelong Episcopalian Tel# 541-379-3124
 
— Carter Kerns
 

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