the weblog of Alan Knox

Community Ingredients: Jesus

Posted by on Mar 29, 2011 in community | 7 comments

Community Ingredients: Jesus

In this series, I’m examining several ingredients that are necessary for a group of people to live as community. However, I’m not interested in just any type of community. Instead, I’m interested in determining some “ingredients” necessary for believers to live together as community in the way that the church is described in the New Testament. (See my introductory post here.)

The first necessary ingredient is Jesus. Yes, I know, that sounds obvious, right. But, we cannot take this for granted.

Apart from Jesus Christ, there is not community (i.e., church community). Apart from Jesus Christ, there is no church.

Without Jesus, there can be meetings, organization, leadership, education, programs, singing, good works, community care, etc. But, without Jesus, there will never be community as brothers and sisters like we read about in Scripture.

In fact, if you remember from my introductory post, a community is a group of people that have something in common. For a church community (like what is described in Scripture) the common factor is Jesus Christ. He is not just an ingredient for church community; he is THE main and most important ingredient.

There are communities that are formed around location, interests, politics, hobbies, sports, entertainment, etc. A community can have almost anything in common. That common factor is the basis on which the people join together and relate.

For the church living in community (as described in the NT), that common factor is Jesus Christ.

I am not talking about a particular teaching about Jesus Christ, or an historical account of Jesus Christ. Instead, I am talking about the person of Jesus Christ, who according to Scripture is alive and present and powerfully working in those whom he has redeemed and reconciled to God.

If community were actually a recipe, then Jesus would be the beef in the meatloaf. He would be the chicken in the chicken parmigiana. He would be the pork in the barbecue. Without the meat, chicken, or pork, the dishes that I listed would not work. There would be no meatloaf without the beef, no chicken parmigiana without the chicken, and no barbecue without the pork.

The same is true for church community. Without Jesus, community as described in the New Testament is possible.

Read this carefully: Without Jesus, community IS possible, but NOT the community as described by the New Testament authors when they wrote about the church.


7 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 3-29-2011

    yes!

    Like you pointed out to me before… He IS christian community…because He is the Head of the Body…and the Head & Body should not be separated. He is all.

  2. 3-29-2011

    A friend of mine describes Jesus as an “operating system, not a plug-in.”

  3. 3-29-2011

    Randi and Art,

    I take this a step further in my next post in the series. :)

    -Alan

  4. 3-29-2011

    “Love one another, by this they shall know you are my disciples” and “If any man say he loves me but does not love his brethren then the love of God is not in him.” Christ first and as a result “shared love”. We can only have that love by the Spirit which changes us and enables us to love in that fashion and Who is Christ. We can have a community when we share common ideas and decide to love. With Christ, through His Holy Spirit, we can have community in spite of differences and desire to love.

  5. 3-29-2011

    Duchessdad,

    Yes, I agree. Christ (through his Spirit) creates, directs, and empowers our love for others.

    -Alan

  6. 3-30-2011

    This is a huge issue in the church. Community is family. Real family has to deal with issues; messy things. This is an area of great angst with me. My experience has been, that even at lunch after the service, discussions very rarely drift outside of hunting, fishing, sports and the superficial,”How ya doin’.” We are nice to each other, but there has to be more.

    We continue with our obligatory meeting, greeting and bleating service. It seems, outside of the service, talking about Jesus is verboten. The system does not encourage, whether purposely or not, the interaction of the brethren concerning Jesus. That is left to the pulpit.

    So instead of being led to green pastures, the sheep are kept penned up tightly in the corral. They believe they are practicing community, but if you removed the corral they would all fall over because they do not know how to stand on their own.

    All is not lost though. We must live it out the best we can, and hopefully some will see the need and join His community.

  7. 3-30-2011

    Jack,

    Thanks for this comment. You’re right. The church is community because the church is family. When the church does not recognize themselves as family, they will not live in community with one another. Lately, I’ve been thinking alot about how to help people move towards living as family with one another.

    -Alan

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Food For Thought: Getting Back In The Swing Edition « Pursuing Glory - [...] Community Elements: Jesus [...]