Don’t go it alone. Spiritual growth is a team sport.
Community Is a Spiritual Practice?
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never even thought of community as a spiritual practice. How does hanging out with other people grow your relationship with God? Well, Jesus left his followers with one command:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
We express our love for and gratitude to God by loving other people. It’s a way of acknowledging that all people are created in God’s image and he values each and every one of us.
So, living in authentic community with other believers is a core spiritual practice because our relationships with others is where our faith meets the real world. Authentic community is where others help us to grow as we help them. It’s where we can experience:
It often takes someone else pointing out the gap between where we are and where we could be in order for us to catch a vision for our possible futures.
When people feel a sense of belonging in community, it motivates them toward progress—not because they feel judged, but because they know the group has their best interests at heart.
When life goes sideways we have an opportunity to grow in our trust of God, but only if we have a support system of people who can shift our perspectives and help to meet our emotional, spiritual, and even physical needs.
Core vs. Periphery featuring Tim Cooper
Radical Hospitality by Richard Beck
Groups: The Life-Giving Power of Community by John Ortberg
Breaking the Ice: Learning to Share Stories by Donald Miller
Bad Blood by Clay Scroggins
Creating Community by Andy Stanley and Bill Willits
Community is Messy by Heather Zempel
Move Toward the Mess by John Hambrick
Making Small Groups Work by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
Small Groups with Purpose by Steve Gladen
Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community by Brett McCracken