Jesus saves individuals and connects them to community…
September 8, 2011
“Jesus saves individuals and connects them to community to be the people of God, not the individuals of God” @pastormark
This was a tweet by Mark O’Driscoll two weeks ago which spurred me on to write this post about self needs as christians and how much unity is there withing our fellowships and communities.
Fellowships and communities are within themselves an interacting group of people, refers to a group that shares some common values. Though many christian fellowships/communites share the latter, it seems to me in some cases the interacting group of people can fail due to the need of selfish gain within fellowships.
For a group of people to act as a community in a christian church is being interested in daily lives of those people, having a relationship with those people outside of “church” activities and sacraficing yourself to others in helping and doing what needs to be done by serving. Church from the greek never appears in the New Testement but rather Ecclesia, which is better translated to being assembly or gathering. Further to this, the root word of Ecclesia is “call out” but seems modern church is doing the opposite and seems to be looking inward by assembling in big buildings with many christians gaining as much from it rather than giving away or looking outward.
Fellowshiping is great on the day that your service is held and other meetings during the week but if you think that worshiping for the half hour or so, taking in the sermons and giving your offerings makes you a good christian by getting in all that you can, you are mistaken. We as christians need to be in unity with each other and not become selfish individuals but give up yourself to serve and be united so that we can become people of God.
It seems to me that christians are liking the word of fellowshipping rather than acting as a community. Many churches act as fellowships where it is a sign of friendliness rather than being a community. Simple church has been brining this notion of Christ-centered community established primarily on relationship both to God and to the other members of the group. In doing so it discards many aspects of conventional expressions of church, which is considered beneficial by some, and problematic by others. This gives those in the movement the opportunity to focus on what it considers to be the core practices of Christian spirituality.
Though many don’t agree with simple church with critics worry that the simple church movement could encourage people to leave more traditional forms of church, which could lead to further collapse or decline of Christendom. However, with many churches having small groups, cell groups or net groups that meet weekly outside of the traditional “Sunday service”, each of these are simple church as these groups build their relationships more than those individuals that meet on a Sunday.
Though this highlights being in unity with each other and pushing for a strong sense of community, it does not mean for unity between churches/fellowships. Many will push the fact that if these simple churches are for unity, it does not push for wider fellowship unity but that the person saved it connected to a community of believers.