There is no better place to get built up and refreshed than the church. It’s a place where we can be restored and encouraged. Yet, many people come to church merely out of duty or because it is the “right thing to do.”
We were Designed for Community
Paul and Titus were enduring persecution, but they found encouragement and refreshing in the church: “In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you.” 2 Cor. 7:13
People are designed for community. God never meant for us to be alone. Bars are so popular not because of the alcohol, but because people feel community there. God created the church for a place of community…a place where people can be encouraged & refreshed. We have to make sure we’re creating an atmosphere where people feel safe. We don’t need to be poking, prodding or judging them.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
Community Requires Effort
Most people are familiar with the account of the paralytic with determined friends. The friends wanted to bring the paralytic to Jesus.
“Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.” Mark 2:3-4
This required a lot of effort!!! They were inconvenienced. Being part of community will require effort on your end! Can you drive someone to church? Can you invite someone to dinner at your house?
Barriers to Community
There are several barriers that prevent people from participating in the community of church.
The first barrier is consumerism. People only consider what the church has in it for them. They are concerned only about what they can get from it, not how they can contribute.
The second barrier is isolation. Oftentimes people get offended or hurt at a church. Instead of addressing the issues (or even going to another church), they quit church all together. When we are alone, we become easy prey for the enemy.