Chances are you’re reading this because the idea that God created the faith community resonates within you. Perhaps you are involved in a life-giving faith community at your church and these people are like your family or perhaps you are longing for deeper relationships and looking for tips on how to build one for the very first time. Wherever you are, you know the reality of this relationship stuff is tough!
Everyone has challenges with family and faith community. This is because relationships are so important. God says the church is the bride of Christ. It is His perfect plan for spreading the gospel. We must commit to being part of community in the good and in the hard times. When you press in and come out on the other side of challenges within a faith community you will be truly fulfilled and alive because it is what you were made for.
During the fall of 2013, my family felt God calling us to believe for a way to walk deeper with a faith community. We had community in our neighborhood, our church small group, at work, and we even had close relatives who lived in town, but we longed for a day-to-day faith community we would call our family. We wanted to see the good, bad, and ugly, and love each other in spite of it all. We desired for our kids to have role models in their lives. We wanted to press into those challenges. Ultimately, we wanted to live out the Acts 2:42–47 community we saw in God’s Word.
For us, this new step of risk came in the form of buying a house where two newly married couples and another single young adult eventually lived with us. We had family night where we shared life, ate dinner, and spent time together every other week. It was not without challenge, but we saw God fulfill His promise to us of pressing into the challenge and breathing life into a new faith community.
Our story is just one simple slice of what God has in mind for a faith community. Being a part of a faith community is God’s plan for His church, for His family— for your church and for your family. Over the past 10 years we have seen friends on scooters and catching rides to work only, in turn, to have their faith community present them with a new car. We have seen people share their most hidden secrets of addiction and a faith community hold their arms up when divorce was a very likely option. However, we have also seen the mundane realities of a family whose husband is out of town have a meal made and brought to them. We have seen bedtime phone calls to a member of a faith community who just needed to experience the love of her heavenly Father that could only come through another’s humanity.
God offers us all this beautiful mosaic of family He calls faith community with its joys and challenges.