While I believe I’ve argued well for why we must live in authentic and interdependent community and what it looks like, that doesn’t mean we know how to develop that type of community. Today, that’s what I’ll focus on –– how we develop authentic and interdependent community with one another.
How do we develop authentic and interdependent community with one another?
We can start by looking at what took place in the early church. Looking at Acts 2, we see that the early church:
- Immersed their lives in God’s Word together.
- Prayed together.
- Shared each other’s burdens.
- They laughed, they cried, they parented, they ate together.
- They celebrated the Lord’s Supper together, proclaiming in a visible way to the world that Jesus is their Savior.
- They served each other and the community.
- They sacrificed for one another.
- They made sure each other’s needs were met.
- They extended hospitality to those around them.
- They were on mission together, seeking to win others to Christ and helping each other grow in their Christian walk.
These are the things the early church did.
You are a necessary part of the body of Christ.
Along with doing these things, they saw themselves as a necessary part of the body of Christ. They knew that they were missed. They knew that they were hindering the church’s growth and mission when they failed to participate.
You must be willing to share your lives with others.
As well as they were willing to share their lives with each other. They were open. They were transparent. They shared more than their physical needs with others. They also shared their spiritual needs.
So we must not only participate in the same activities as they did, but we must see ourselves as a necessary part of the body, and we must be willing to share our lives with one another. Those you attend church with should know how to pray for you. Not just physically but spiritually. They should know your fears, your struggles, your joys.
I know hearing that probably sounds a bit invasive. But that’s what it takes to live in authentic and interdependent community with one another. If we always keep one another at arms length, if we never let anyone in, we aren’t really depending on them. Instead we are depending on ourselves. But that’s not how a body operates. Your arm doesn’t depend on itself. Instead, it depends on the rest of the body in order to work. We must do the same. We must depend on one another in order to live in authentic and interdependent community.
How are you doing with that? Do you see yourself as someone who just lives in proximity to others? Or are you living in or at least working towards living in authentic and interdependent community with your local church members?
If we are going to be authentic disciples, then we must also live in interdependent community. We must do it, not only for our own spiritual growth, but for the spiritual growth of others, and the furtherance of Jesus’ kingdom. So we must be disciples who live authentically and interdependently with one another in biblical community.
Post developed from my sermon In what type of community must the church live?