John, over at “Hungry and Thirsty“, has posted an excellent article called “Contrived Community“. He examines the basis for Christian community. What do we normally find in churches? This is what John found:
The glue that holds most modern church communities together is their carefully constructed array of programs. Sunday worship services, youth group meetings, Bible study classes, weekly small groups, etc. become the devices that connect people with each other in something that simulates meaningful relationships. But what happens when those programs falter or fail? Church-goers either disconnect from the program and the people it connected them to or stay in what quickly becomes a tangibly barren relational wasteland.
Should Christian community be built on activites? Should Christian community be built on human personalities? We know that this happens. We see people leave churches when programs end or when leaders leave.
As I commented on John’s post, I believe that Christian community must be built upon our shared existence in Jesus Christ through the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Anything else may be community, but is it the community that we need?