Why Community is Important for Growth

Eddie Mosley

Created for Community

Humans were not designed to be alone. We were created to be in relationship with one another. Community helps us to gain knowledge and wisdom about life and attributes to the growth of the whole person—heart, soul, and mind.

Likewise, Christians were not designed to be alone. Our relationship with Christ is what sets us apart from the world and other religions, and our relationship with each other is what brings forth unique, biblical community.

 

A Life Lived Together

In the book of Acts, we read details about the community of the early church. The writer mentions in chapter 2, “[The disciples] devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer… every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42,46-47 NIV).

In this passage, we discover more about the development of the church—not merely in its institutional design, but also in the lives of the believers. The early church studied together, partied (fellowshipped) together, ate together, cared and prayed for each other, and introduced the lost and searching to Jesus. And, this is the same design for our lives today.

 

 

Here are a few stories of believers who found the importance of relationship and fully engaged in community with one another.

“Last year, we moved to a new home. I sensed the Lord encouraging me to reach out to the women on my street to build relationships and share my story of Jesus. I invited 14 over for lunch, and 8 responded. I also reached out to those that I had either previously had Bible study with or whom I knew had a desire to engage in discipleship. I shared with them my hope that the Lord would help each one of us feel confident and bold in sharing our faith.

Our group, now consisting of 28 women, has walked together in Bible study, prayer, missions, and sharing the gospel. We encourage each other in our daily lives and walk as sisters. It is a joy and a real encouragement to see us spiritually growing and sharing personal stories of how God is working! We have a safe place to voice our concerns and struggles, as well as celebrate milestones and blessings.” —Susan, LIFE Group Leader

 

 

“When I became a follower of Jesus, I had no one to show me how that looks in the day-to-day. My parents didn’t know. My friends weren’t believers. All I knew was to keep going to the church service. However, I soon discovered that one hour on Sunday morning is not enough. I had to learn that the hard way. When you’re not living in relationship with other believers, you can quickly fall back into your sinful habits.

When I finally found a small group, it changed my life as a Christian. I was no longer just sitting and listening to songs and sermons—I was walking side-by-side with others, learning how God’s Word applies to our lives in real time.

Having seen the value of community, I started leading groups, too. When we moved to Middle Tennessee seven years ago, my wife and I automatically knew we would do two things: find a church and a group. For us, the two go hand-in-hand, and it’s made all the difference.”—John, LIFE Group Trainer