Blog Covers - 2024 (13)


The church was a movement of loved and sent ones, based on the conviction that Jesus died on a cross and rose from the dead to give life. Today we will look at a major distinctive of the Christian life that is part of a flourishing Christian life.  

A recent study of Gen Z and Millennials said they are the most connected in history, yet over 50% say they are amazingly lonely. We live in a culture that hungers for connection across so many channels, but being connected doesn’t mean you are in community,  

God has designed the local church to encourage, equip, prioritize, focus on, and help people pursue authentic relationships. It is important to understand that your faith in Christ is personal, but it is not private. It’s not just about believing, it’s also about belonging.   

People who prioritize Biblical community and relationships are the ones who flourish. It does not mean that they only have church friends. They have friends outside of the church. But they are intentional about finding a healthy Christian community. 

Acts 2:41 “So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added to them.” 

How will they disciple this immense amount of people? 

Acts 2:42 “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.” 

Fellowship means you have something in common. The early church didn’t have anything else in common but Jesus.  

Acts 16 introduces us to Lydia who was a businesswoman, a demon-possessed girl, and a man who works in a jail. They were the first three members of the Philippian church. These three characters were so different, yet the church in Phillipi was the healthiest church in the New Testament. The only thing that connected them was Jesus. This common bond was deeper than anything that divided them. 

Our church has different careers, different parenting styles, different economic statuses, different cultural back grounds, different colors, and in some cases different languages, yet we are all together in what the Bible calls the church.  

Acts 2:46 “Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts” 

They attended the temple together because corporate worship is crucial to the health of each member. They also broke bread in homes, this is something like our Sunday school ministry.  

We want healthy biblical community that is interdependent. Just like the early church, make Christian community a priority in your life, not an add on when it’s convenient. We are a family you belong to, not an event you attend. 

Do you ever wonder why you are so joyless? Could it be that you have forgone biblical community? 

“I can’t trust these people who are doing it better than me with my struggles.“  

That’s not true.   

“Everybody has their life together”   

No one here has it all together in all areas all the time. We need each other. Some of you have been through church hurt.  People can be insensitive, pastors can be abusive, leaders can be manipulative. You need to get around solid believers to heal.  

Four Characteristics of Authentic Community 

  1. Authentic community exudes genuine love 

Romans 12:9-10 says “Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another.” 

Genuine love means that we all understand we fall short, and the gospel allows us to be open about that and admit we struggle. Jesus says, they will know you are my disciples by the way you love one another.  

Disclosure is the gateway to intimacy. Spend the time and get to know people personally. I want you to have a few relationships that are biblical fellowship.  Where you pray together, study together, and disclose some things.   

  1. Authentic community is transparent about our sins and struggles, and applies the gospel to move toward flourishing 

Abhor evil, acknowledge what is good.  We acknowledge our sins, apply the gospel, and move toward flourishing.  If someone in our church family is making wrong choices, then it is our responsibility to reason with them and keep them accountable. Christian fellowship rescues.   

  1. Authentic community highlights biblical honor. 

The second part of Romans 12:10 says “Take the lead in honoring one another.” 

We need to honor one another, our gifts and our God given SHAPE. This may look like taking the far parking spots or taking the chairs in the far corner that are half the size of the rest.   

  1. Authentic community is about taking part, not just consuming. 

Romans 12:11-13 says “Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality.” 

When we were needy, Jesus cared for us, so now we ought to do the same.   Every time you take a meal, fix a fence, do yard work at a members house you are doing fulfilling the commandments Paul lays out in Romans 12. 

Pastor Chris Williams

To learn more about Pastor Chris and his teaching, visit us on the web at and make sure you subscribe to receive these weekly encouragements in your inbox. 

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