Summary: Revealing the power and potential in Biblcial community.
The Culture of Community 12-17-06
Series: Creating a New Culture…in the church. John 17:20-21
I am indebted to John Burke’s book, “No Perfect People Allowed” for many of the basic ideas expressed in this series. It’s a great read!
Intro. Have you ever wondered why Sitcoms seem to have such a powerful impact on our culture? Why do we love them so much? Why do we continuing watching the reruns even when we can quote our favorite characters line by line? It’s because every great sitcom has one thing in common…they have a strong sense of community. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about Friends, Seinfeld, Home Improvement, That 70’s show or The King of Queens. In every show these imaginary characters have a place where they belong, a community that loves and accepts them, no matter how wacky their lifestyles may have been. It is that same innate desire for love and acceptance in each of our lives that drives us to find a place of community. Think about it – we search for community in all kinds of places. Service clubs, chat rooms, sports teams, community centers, book clubs and support groups of every kind and description. Now there’s nothing wrong with any of these things…except the fact that they’ll never be able to satisfy what we truly long for…and that is unconditional love and acceptance. You see that kind of community is found in only one place on earth – in a fully functioning church. And therein lies our dilemma. While the world is searching for something that only the church can provide, the church seems clueless about the power and the life-changing potential of biblical community. We’ve somehow forgotten that community is what makes the church healthy, growing and distinctive from every other organization. We must remember that we have what the world needs. But if we’re not completely convinced of that, then our church will never be able to offer “real” community to the community we’re trying to reach. That’s why I want us to concentrate this morning and do one simple thing. Let’s see if we can figure out, Why community is so important?
It’s important because,
I. We all have a need for it.
There’s a practical necessity in every life to have a sense of belonging to a group that’s bigger and more important than self. Someone once said, “There’s no better way to dismantle a personality than to isolate it.” (Princess of Wales) In other words, being alone causes all kinds of personal problems. Have you ever noticed how the bible begins with this often-repeated phrase, “And God saw that it was good”? When God created light, he said it was good. When he created the heavens and the earth – all’s good! When God created the fish, the birds, and every kind of animal, guess what he said? It’s all good! Then God created man after his own image and He stood back and said, “It’s all good…except for one thing. It is not good for man to be alone! So he created woman.” Now here’s the essence of what God said – you and I were created for community, we need each other. We don’t life very well when we’re alone.