Christians and churches today are emphasizing the building of community. The focus is first the building of community within the local church and then, after this, the building of the community they are located in. There are many things that God’s people, the Church, can do to build community – both within the church and within the wider community in which they are located. Here are a few that we might want to focus on. Using the acrostic of the word “service.”
S = spiritual formation. We agree that we will help each other grow spiritually. We will “speak the truth in love” and allow the truth to set people free. We focus on helping others within the church family and especially in our small groups to grow and mature in their walk with the Lord.
E = evangelism. We desire for our friends, family, and even those we work with and out neighbours to come to know Jesus Christ and the Gospel of the Kingdom. So, all of our events and activities should involve inviting the unsaved that we relate to. We need to let them see true community and how Christians live and relate to one another. So, we are focused on the lost both already within the church community and those outside the church.
R = recreation. It is important if not imperative that Christians have fun together. This is very healthy for believers and also can be a good influence on non-believers. Often Christians are simply too serious about life. Yes, we all have problem. Yes, there is a tremendous need to see the lot saved. Yes, there are major issues in the world that are serious. But, the Bible states that God has given all things to us to enjoy. So, we need to loosen up a bit and not be so serious.
V = volunteerism. We will each volunteer to help our church. Every member of the body of Christ ministering to the body so that it can mature and become healthy. As well, each member should volunteer to help people in their neighbourhood or local community so that they continue to be the salt of the earth and a light on a hill. Every member is a minister within the church; every member is on a mission within their community.
I = international missions. We will become aware of the church in the almost 200 nations on the world. We will pray, support, encourage, and even finance the work being done in foreign nations. We will become willing to “go into all the world” as the Lord commanded. We will go because we love Him and thus obey Him. The first step is to simply become aware of each nation, the people, the culture, the situation, and what is happening about the Christian Church in the nations. Prayer is important here.
C = care. We will care for each other. As believers in a local church we will take care of one another. We will rejoice when others rejoice; we will bear one another’s burdens; we will encourage one another. Really, in the Church that Jesus is building the people provide the pastoral care. The pastor is simply there to equip the people for the work of the ministry. So, believers will care for and about believers and be there for them as members of the local church.
E = extending compassion. We will also reach out and help the poor and the needy in our local community and in our neighbourhoods. We will take our passion for Jesus and let it overflow into compassion for those who are hurting and need a helping hand. Remembering that we are helping because we are followers of Jesus and so we are to look for opportunities to tell them why we are loving and compassionate. The ultimate goal of expending compassion is the salvation of souls.
Churches around the world are stepping up and working to follow Jesus and what He is doing today in their area of the Kingdom. Remember, Jesus said He came to serve. So, if we are following Jesus we will certainly be involved in ‘service’ to others.