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As a new believer, I didn’t think going to church or having a community was that important. I thought it would be fine to do Christianity on my own.
I was wrong. Church community is essential for believers, especially new believers. As a new believer, you’re vulnerable to false doctrine. That’s because you’re not as knowledgeable as someone who’s more mature in the faith. It’s important for new believers to be in a church community where they receive solid biblical teaching and can be in community with others.
Here’s why church community is important and why you should seek fellowship with believers.
Importance of Christian Community
Christian community is important for every believer. However, I’d argue it’s even more important for those who are new to the faith.
If you lack community, there’s no one to build you up, encourage you to keep walking in the faith, pray for you, disciple you, do life with you, and hold you accountable. There are many benefits to being in Christian community. Being in a community of believers is also biblical, which leads us to the next question.
What does the Bible say about community?
So, what does the Bible say about community? Well, it says quite a bit actually.
Here’s some Bible verses about community:
- 1 Thessalonians 5:14 – And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” (NIV).
- Colossians 3:13 – “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (NIV).
- James 5:16 – “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (NIV).
- Proverbs 27:17 – “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (NIV).
- Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (NIV).
- 1 Corinthians 12:25-27 – “So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (NIV).
Examples of Community in the Bible
There are examples of community displayed throughout the Bible. Let’s take a look at a couple examples of community in the Old and New Testament.
Community in the Old Testament
In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel were seen as a community of people. God often addresses them as a group, rather than individuals.
“I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians,” (Exodus 6:7 ESV).
The Israelites received the 10 commandments together, were rescued from captivity together, went into the wilderness together, and were led into the promised land together. They did everything together.
Community in the New Testament
In the New Testament, community is strongly illustrated in Acts 2. This chapter emphasizes believers being together and sharing everything they have. In the beginning of the chapter, it states, “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place,” (Acts 2:1 NIV).
If you read this chapter, you’ll see that the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within them. At the end of the chapter, many come to faith and the believers fellowship with one another.
It reads, “They [the believers] devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved,” (Acts 2:42-47 NIV).
How to Cultivate Church Community
Hopefully you’ve realized you’re in need of Christian community if you don’t already have one. Here are ways to cultivate community in your life.
#1 Choose a good church.
First, choose a good church. A good church has solid teaching, good community, and seeks to follow Christ in all they do.
If you need help with finding a biblical church, I suggest you use 9Marks. It’s a church search engine to help you find good churches near you.
#2 Attend regularly and stay after service is over.
Attend church regularly on Sunday (or Saturday) and stick around after service is over. Many will go home right after service, but that’s not how things should be. The Bible calls us to fellowship with one another.
Introduce yourself and get to know people. Be bold and ask to grab lunch with someone after church. Don’t forget to follow up. You never know, you might make a friend.
#3 Attend hangouts and events.
Whenever your church is hosting a hangout or event, attend when possible. Commit to saying yes to everything unless you really can’t go.
Attending hangouts and events is one of the fastest ways to really get to know everyone and be well acquainted.