by Judi Chow
Lately, a word kept popping up both in my conversation with people as well as during my personal reflections. The Lord is calling my attention to this word— community. I know what a community is; we all are part of a community, and some of us live or work in a community. So, what is the Lord trying to tell me about community?
Someone said community is a place of belonging, a place where people find their identities. That’s true, I am part of the CCM family (sense of belonging) and I am CCM’s missionary (identification). Generally speaking, I say a community is a group of people who share a common interest or goal. How committed a person is to that community depends on how much that person feels belonged or identifies with that community. How committed are CCMers? Well, if time is any indication, some of us are on this journey together for some twenty, thirty years. We shared the common interest of serving Christ and our goal is to spread the Gospel among our kinsmen worldwide. For me, it was that calling from God to serve HIM through CCM that kept me tied to this community. It is the memories we share which bond us together spiritually and emotionally.
Larry Crabb refers to the church as a community of people on a journey to God. It is ironic that we presume the church to be a loving community, yet people are not satisfied. Why? Maybe we have a too-high view of the church. We expect perfection in the house of God and forget the people in it are imperfect sinners turned tarnished saints. We want nurturing, but we land up with responsibilities. We want affirmation and acceptance, but we get guilt and gossip instead. We desire the greatest gift of love, but what we hear are clanging cymbals. Shall we lower our expectations so we won’t be disappointed? Reducing the church to be a place for social gatherings? May it never be!
If we are together on this journey to God and if we are clear about our destination, steam ahead. Transformation will take place with one (me) plus another like-minded individual. A community between the two will form with the common desire for spiritual quest and intimacy. As sojourners committed to travel the narrow path, a mutual support and the willingness to carry each other’s burdens will develop. Christ has promised where two or three are gathered in His name, He shall be in their midst. Don’t give up and settle for mediocrity. Instead, pray for the Lord to reveal a kindred spirit committed to walk with you in community.