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Christian Community

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by JonC, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    What, if any, do you believe the relevance of Acts 2 has to the contemporary church?

    The reason that I ask is that I am dismayed at the lack of Christian community in our churches today. “Going to church” seems to consist of watching a sermon and a worship program, and an hour of bible study with acquaintances in small group (perhaps another hour of either one mid-week).

    When I reflect on my life I realize (actually it was a recent realization) that the only real “community” to which I have ever belonged was when I was stationed in Germany and serving in the Army. That was a genuine community – we knew each other, cared for each other, watched over each other’s families, knew the children of our “group,” helped each other when needed, etc. I think that it was because we were “foreigners” in another land.
     
  2. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    If your church isn't a "community," perhaps you need to find a new church. The first-century Jerusalem church was a special church, in that it was under siege from the Temple council and the mainstream Jewish people. They viewed The Way as a heretical sect, and they plotted to deny employment, the ability to do business, and even to allow land or home ownership and/or rental to those who were members of the movement.

    However, that is no excuse for today's local church to not exercise community. We have a vital men's fellowship which, among other things, is sponsoring a fantasy football league that enables ten men who may not previously have known one another to get together -- we do so on Monday nights at the end of each football weekend -- and fellowship. Our Sunday school class does a monthly social gathering at different couples houses during which husbands and wives together do the same thing. We also have small groups that meet for Bible study every week, preceded by fellowship and good ole Baptist home cookin'! LOL

    Any church can do this. Maybe you need to start it at your church, if that is why you posted this thread, so you can enjoy the company of fellowship of other fellow church members.
     
  3. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant Active Member

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    I do think you have a point. I am not sure that everyone in the Jerusalem church fellowshipped and had community with every other person, because they also met in the houses. (Acts 2:46)

    I think we ought to do a better job in providing opportunities for Biblical fellowship which carries with it the idea of all servng together. That was why you felt as you did in Germany because you were all serving and working together.

    Part of the problem is that kind of community is almost unknown in our country because we move alot, change churches, change jobs. That means we basically coccoon in our homes. But I do think the church is missing alot in not being more of a community.
     
  4. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace Well-Known Member

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    The elimination of the "FRONT PORCH" has a lot to do with the lack of "community" IMHO!
    That and air conditioning.
     
  5. go2church

    go2church Active Member

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    Community is tough in a larger context. For the large part, we in church value the large and are willing to sacrifice closeness to achieve this goal.
     
  6. Aaron

    Aaron Member

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    True story.
     
  7. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member

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    Jerry Slate preached a message on biblical hospitality a few weeks ago where he explained that even the way houses were designed years ago, with a porch and a parlor lent itself to this grace and duty.
     
  8. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I don't believe "community" is necessarily an overall one-to-one relationship especially in large churches.

    HankD
     
  9. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member

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    And the beer was very very good:thumbs:
     
  10. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I disagree. Perhaps larger churches would consists of many “communities,” but I do believe that Christians are called to be involved in each other’s lives (for and to provide encouragement, accountability, support, etc). I attend a large church but often feel that it is composed of individuals worshiping and learning separately (although together in a congregation) instead of as a church body. I wouldn’t leave the church because of this – I am just as much an individual as everyone else. This is one purpose of “small group,” but I don’t think it is achieving its goal in regards to “living life together.”
     
  11. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member

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    OK, my thought is that we are "community" already because of the unity of the Spirit of God. We are all filled with the Spirit and in the Spirit.

    The unity is there but we are lacking the human connection.
    Also there is a possible one-to-many and many-to-one and many-to-many to build that connection.

    Example: our youth group will on occasion visit our senior group(s) to help them with chores, cut grass, haul away trash, paint, repair, etc...

    HankD
     
  12. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ New Member

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    JonC...

    If you were part of my felloship you would find what you are looking for.

    They are out there...


    Seek, and you will find! :wavey:
     
    #12 Alive in Christ, Sep 8, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2013
  13. Berean

    Berean Member

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    In the Utopian (perfect church) there would be no lost persons coming to church. We would have believers coming and ministering to each other, old women teaching the young women, the old men teaching the young men, the pastor/elder ministering through the Word. We would be helping each other with mortgage payments (for the ones who have lost their jobs), feeding hungry children. When we left the fellowship we would be telling everyone the Good News, consequently the only new people coming to church would be those who have been redeemed coming for baptism. Unfortunately we don't live in a perfect world so we will have to continue as we are. After all there is a lot more glamor to planting churches and going on mission trips then presenting the Gospel to my next door neighbor. This is where I fall real short in my walk with the Lord.
     
  14. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator
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    I pastored in a small town (585) and we were "community" with similar goals and general mindset - many denominations, many ethnicities.

    In Jerusalem the primitive church were all neighbors. Those visiting from other regions for Passover/Pentecost probably stayed on after salvation and they had all things in common, sharing and opening homes.

    The only time they met as a large group would be behind the temple (on temple mount there was a huge tent/awning covered meeting area behind the building. Must have been something.

    But even in the small US town setting, we had very few church members within walking distance or even living in town. We had little similarity to the "communal living" that the first few months in Jerusalem, with thousands saved, would have experienced.

    ps - don't read Acts 2 without 3-4-5-6. Problems, strife, friction, lying, envy. Yep, that is the product of people in a small community, too.
     
  15. Berean

    Berean Member

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    In 80 years and having a large family I have over the years had the opportunity to visit a lot of churches large and small and one of the things I have observed is that a good judge of a New Testament Church is to watch how fast a church empties after the service is dismissed. In some you run the risk of getting run over if you stop in the isle to visit with someone, in others the maintenance crew will have to ask people to leave so they can lock up. IMO this is a much better judge of whether it is a friendly church then what the bulletin or billboard says.
     
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