What Does a Christian Community Look Like?
Christian Community, in all its shapes and forms, has the main goal of encouraging its members in the pursuit of Christ-likeness. We were created to live in authentic Christian community, both with God and with other people. And at Grace College, this is our very heartbeat. We live, learn, and worship in settings that foster community.
Community with God and community with other people work in tandem to serve great purposes in the Kingdom. Let’s dive into Scripture together to answer the question, “What does Biblical community look like?”
What Does Biblical Community Look Like?: A Source of Accountability
Accountability is strongly encouraged in Christian circles because it provides a place to be honest about sin, engage in times of prayer, and study the Bible with another person.
God put accountability into place for King David in 2 Samuel 12, when Nathan spoke to David to confront him about his sin. Nathan begins by telling David a parable of a man who, though he had much, stole the most prized possession of a man who had very little. David got angry at the rich man, and stated that the man deserved to die. Nathan used this opportunity to point out that David’s actions were the same as the actions of the rich man in the parable.
This confrontation led to David writing Psalm 51, which is one of lament and confession. Verse 10 says, Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. When confronted with the truth of his actions, David immediately went to a posture of surrender to God. He wanted God to change his heart so that he could walk in a way that honors God.
Accountability in Christian community is meant to help people see areas of sin in their life and point them back to God. Do you want and need accountability in your life?
Here at Grace, we encourage you to seek out accountability with people who will push you towards a deeper relationship with Jesus. Sacia Smith (formerly Hanson), a 2021 Grace graduate, is very familiar with the transformation that comes from accountability. A soccer player for the Lancers, Smith had an ongoing struggle with pride. The captain of her team saw the pride in her life and lovingly confronted her about it. “It’s beautiful to have that leadership,” Smith says. “I remember praying after that and asking the Lord to help me grow.”
Want to know more about Smith’s time at Grace? Click here to read about how experiencing Christian community at Grace changed Smith’s life.
What Does Biblical Community Look Like?: Fulfilling the Great Commission
Most followers of Christ know what the Great Commission is, but have you ever considered that it is a byproduct of Christian community? Let’s read through it to recall these last words of Jesus.
Matthew 28:16-20 says, Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he gathered his disciples and instructed them to continue discipleship relationships so as to further his message. The goal was for Jesus’ life, message, and ways to be implanted in the hearts and minds of those around them. How was this supposed to be accomplished? Through Christian community.
Jesus provided the model for discipleship relationships: intentional fellowship, daily life together, and individualized teaching. The disciples knew Jesus because they actually lived with him, watched him teach, got to ask him questions, and were privy to all parts of his life.
You might be asking, As a student, how can I fulfill the Great Commission? The answer is simple: engage in discipleship with other people. These types of relationships are vital in helping you keep the focus of your life on God. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy! You could invite a few friends over for a Bible study and use that time to discuss spiritual difficulties. You could ask the Lord for someone to disciple you. You could join a mentorship program at your church. The most important thing to remember is to keep Christ and the Bible at the center of any and all discipleship endeavors.
Claire Penird, a 2016 Grace graduate, can attest to the opportunities for discipleship at Grace. Every summer before school, Penird prayed that God would provide someone for her to disciple. In 2014, God provided Jessica James, a freshman living on Penird’s hall. Penird saw that James had a desire to learn more about God, and their relationship eventually led to James committing her life to follow Jesus.
To hear the full story of how God used Christian community to fulfill the Great Commission, click here.
As a student at Grace College, you will be encouraged to engage in intentional Christian community in all sorts of ways. Chapel, growth groups, and classes are all designed to help students grow closer together as they grow closer to Christ.
Are you ready to dive in? Fill out our Lancer Application to start your journey today.