Creating Authentic Christian Community in 2020
Recently, I had a conversation with a couple now visiting Trinity, who have visited churches in San Antonio for almost 4 years looking for genuine Christian community. As I spoke with them, I think I understood what they were looking for and I believe they can find it at Trinity. However, this kind of community does not happen automatically, we must work at it.
The desire to be part of something greater than ourselves, to be connected and to be needed is a deep part of our human nature. Layered on top of this, those of us who have chosen to follow Christ learn that we need community to live out our commitment. As Christ followers, there are times we need to hear the truth spoken in love and we need encouragement from other Christians. So why can it be hard to find an authentic Christian community?
First, we are not part of an exclusive religion cloistered away and surrounded only by other Christians. We have been challenged to be “in the world” but not “of the world.” To be salt and light in the world and to bear witness to Christ’s radical saving love to all who cross our path. So how do we live our lives in a way that allows us to impact others outside the Christian faith while living our lives with others in Christian community?
Second, as imperfect Christians we tend to put other things and people at the center of our lives, not the least of which is a spouse, friends, or the children we birth or raise. The people we tend to trust the most are those we have created or deeply influenced. We can easily put our immediate families on a pedestal at the center of our lives to the exclusion of faith family or even our time with Christ.
Sometimes we seek to find our community and our identity through our work, through hobbies, or even in some very unhealthy places with people who lack the capacity to speak Christ’s truth into our lives and to encourage us to keep growing in Christ-likeness.
When was the last time you looked at your own priorities and how you are spending your time and investing in relationships? If you long for and have not found genuine Christian community, do you need to make a course correction? Do you need to spend more time with some people and less with others?
Are you part of a Small Group with other Christians where you can study and grow and encourage each other? If you need help finding a place to connect I hope you will feel free to contact me. You might also consider joining one of the small groups currently being offered and listed on the next page.