Meditations (Web)Church

A year (and a bit) in the life of NewSpring's first Web pastor

Church community sucks because it’s watered down

with 5 comments

I hate it when serious words get watered down.

Community is one of those words for me. So is love. Maybe it’s not a coincidence that both words live inside one another.

John Piper’s ministry has been tremendously influential in the last couple of decades. In Bethlehem Baptist Church’s decision to adopt relational convenants, I hope we see the beginning of a trend. (Update: Matt Chandler’s Village church came up with stronger covenants you can also read here.)

We in the techno-church movement talk loosely about community, assuming that our readers know when we mean having a shared experience together in a crowd. Or having some dependable friends who might help you out once in a while. Or a “network” of influence. Or a common purpose.

And if you had all of those elements of “community,” you’d have a pretty amazing movement, wouldn’t you say? Definitely something to brag about, especially if you had a small part in making it happen.

But you wouldn’t have community.

Real community, at least the way Jesus orients us toward it:

  • involves a mutual understanding of common dependency on one another achieved through the inscrutable sovereignty of Christ. (Acts 2:44-47)
  • carries movement that is constantly pointed toward service in the grace of Christ (1 Peter 4:10)
  • holds together through a type of covenant faithfulness in the mercy of Christ. (Acts 4:32)

I hear a lot of talk about changing our definitions of membership in the church. Let’s make the definition more active, participatory, instead of passive, people say.

Good. Then complete that work by ensuring community involves a cost and a commitment.

Only then will you have a community in Christ that is always and already glorified.

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Written by NickCharalambous

January 16, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Posted in community

Tagged with , ,

5 Responses

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  1. nothing worse than a watered down message, great post

    Scott Fillmer

    January 16, 2009 at 4:59 pm

  2. […] In his more recent post, Nick Charalambous talks about community, which as most topics do, got me thinking about that […]

  3. Agreed. Just because society’s definition of community may change, God’s word never will. That’s why it’s so important for us to not alter the message when we create new methods. I’m so thankful for God’s word working as a stable foundation. Thanks for including the verses.

    Chris Hill

    January 16, 2009 at 5:47 pm

  4. […] I guess you could say I was on a soapbox, again. […]

  5. […] I guess you could say I was on a soapbox, again. […]


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