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FIGHTING FOR COMMUNITY

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I was recently asked by a listener for this transcript of a feature I wrote that aired on Moody Radio. It’s on the importance of fighting for community. Thought you might enjoy it too.

I’m a typical single. I live in the paradox of complaining about being alone but am an expert at avoiding community. I recognize my need for people, but run from small group gatherings. I want others to reach out to me, but feel burdened with any insinuation that I’m to reach out to others.

A few months ago I visited my birth country, Lebanon. In one week I was invited to more homes than in the last year in the United States. I was fed more meals and called more times than I could keep count of. We in the western world live our lives differently. Our culture is facing an endemic of independence and isolationism like never before. With singleness rates as high as 53% of the population, we’ve become accustomed to living on our own. The effects are not only detrimental, but counter to God’s plan for us.

Go all the way back to Genesis 1 for proof. God says: “Let us make man in our image” Us: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This kind of community is unique to the God of the Bible. In Genesis 2, when God created man, He said: “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” So Eve was created.

God loves people. He loves relationship. He loves community. He created the Church and called it the body, the bride of Christ. He came to earth in the form of a human named Jesus in order to make a way for us to be in community with Him. Yet despite God’s love for relationship, we run and we hide from relationships like nobody’s business. We isolate ourselves even in a crowd.

Walk into any public forum today and you’ll catch myriads of people with their heads in their laps staring at a palm sized screen lost in another world. Alone. Walk into any church today and you’ll find the same thing. We avoid looking into people’s eyes. No wonder our impact is so limited. People are afraid to approach us. They can read our body language. They can tell we don’t have time, interest, or energy for them.

When you think about it it’s easier to be alone. It’s safer to isolate. But ultimately it’s unwise and will ruin us. We were made for more. We were created for fellowship. This kind of community is worth fighting for. This kind of community is worth putting our phones down for. Do you have this kind of community? Are you fighting for this kind of fellowship? This is a battle worth fighting for.

Hey: need help finding a church community in your neck of the woods? Email me at lina@livingwithpower.org and I’ll help. Or post a comment with your thoughts.

Also, if you’re single in Chicago, I’ll be speaking at a singles event in Grayslake at Christ Church Crossroads on Sept 26 from 7:00-9:00pm. Come. It’s Free! Click here for location.