Christian community has often been described as a tapestry. Each of us are like individual threads who are carefully woven together to produce a fabric that’s not only strong and robust, but it’s incredibly beautiful.
We’re given an example of this tapestry in the description of the earliest Christian community in Acts 2, ‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’
This looks wonderful, doesn’t it? But there’s a catch: community requires commitment. It requires a decision from all the individuals in that community to be involved, forsaking other possibilities, and working together for the good of the whole.
It’s said that to build community, you need regular contact points with other people. In Christian contexts, the church growth experts talk about at least 2-3 touch points each week: the Sunday service, a mid-week group, and some fellowship opportunity. Since the beginning of COVID-19, it’s been hard to do that. We’ve had a long period of disconnection, church being online and it continuing online for many of us. We need opportunities for reconnection, to renew old relationships and to welcome newcomers.
So, here’s an opportunity for us all to take the initiative in building community at St Andrew’s. I’m so encouraged by church members I hear about who are creative and intentional in finding ways of connecting to one another. It may be meeting up with one another for lunch or dinner during the week, or reading the bible one-to-one; Growth Groups who are organising outings, or volunteering events, or retreats. One person I know has organised 3 junk trips for church people over the summer. All of us can do things like this.
We’re a community created through faith in Jesus, called to be God’s people and deeply involved in one another’s lives. Think of ways that you can connect with others and weave together this beautiful tapestry.