“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.