How to be part of a community

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We were all created craving a sense of belonging, wanting to connect with other human beings. We were made to commune with God and with each other. To love and to be loved. Here at BCEC we’ve been thinking about the importance of community, but do we know how to really become part of one?

HOW TO BE PART OF A COMMUNITY

1. Remember
As a church we are one body. Like a family, we all have different roles, but we work together in order to move forward. Some of us are more gifted at music, some are terrible singers. Some can cook gourmet style dishes, while others burn the kitchen down. We all have weaknesses that we may never truly understand. But when one member falls down, we have a responsibility to help them get back up. Knowing this will remind us about the importance of unity.
“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. “
~ Romans 12:4-5

2. Gather
As a community, it’s necessary to have face time. Great as the internet is for social networking and virtual support, nothing replaces physically spending time with people. When we stop gathering together, we are more prone to falling away and getting lost. There is a danger of slipping back into your old ways. We were made to connect, and meeting up is a chance to build each other up.
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” 
~ Hebrews 10:25

3. Move On
When someone has hurt you, of course you want to warn others of their wrongdoing. But holding grudges won’t benefit you or the community. Instead, give God the responsibility of righting all wrongs. One of the wonders of becoming more like Christ is learning to forgive one another as Christ has forgiven you. Loving and accepting someone regardless of whether they conform to the “perfect Christian image” mirrors Christ’s unconditional love. There is freedom to be found when you forgive someone.
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  
~ Colossians 3:13

4. Communicate
In many communities we can talk, vent and share struggles with each other. But the difference between a regular community and one of believers is that we have the weapon of prayer. God gave us prayer so we can talk directly to Him. Communicating with each other and with God is one of the perks of this community. Let’s make a habit of coming before God together and lifting each other up in prayer.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
~ James 5:16

5. Participate
A community only works when the people within it share. God has given us different gifts and talents. Maybe you make excuses because you think you’re not good enough, or others are simply better. But you as a part of the church have something to contribute. Everyone feels strong some days and weak on others. When a person carries a burden alone, it can seem like a lonely journey. But there is healing and support when we listen or even cry with them. And when we carry each other’s burdens, Christ is at work. Pray for God use you and your gifts as He will.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace”
~ 1 Peter 4:10
Here at BCEC, we are back to our year theme of WALKING ON as 2012 comes to an end. Bert’s sermon on “The Joy of Community”  can be found to here.

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