Unveiling the Path to Authentic Community

In the beautifully penned words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.” I confess I am enamored by the allure of an ideal community, a harmonious haven where every soul resonates in unity.

We all long for such unity. We yearn for a sense of belonging and shared understanding, meticulously scheduling community events, and dreaming of intentional living spaces, only to realize that our aspirations may inadvertently barricade the organic growth of genuine community.

Amidst this yearning, it’s crucial to navigate away from these four roadblocks that thwart the blossoming of true community:

  1. Chasing the Illusion of a Flawless Community The quest for the perfect community is a mirage that distances us from the potential love and connection sitting right before our eyes. I’ve often caught myself entrenched in criticism, withholding my love and commitment until my expectations are met, a pursuit that perpetually eludes satisfaction. My own tumultuous journey in a church plant revealed the prism of my unrealistic desires. Eager for immediate affection and understanding without laying the foundation of trust, I was blinded. But amidst this turmoil, the compassionate listening ears of friends unveiled the genuine community that had cradled me all along. A moment of revelation where the unconditional love of Jesus reminded me of my freedom to love and serve without expectation or manipulation.
  2. Fleeing from the Challenges We often bolt at the slightest discomfort, abandoning the potential of rich, diverse connections because others may not mirror our spiritual experiences or affirmations. Embracing the diversity of perspectives and experiences rooted in Jesus offers a sanctuary of growth and understanding. Let’s learn to persist, allowing the mosaic of our unique encounters with God to pave the way to an authentic community.
  3. Prioritizing Peripheral Over the Pillar The early disciples, despite their diverse backgrounds and disagreements, were unified in their unwavering commitment to follow Jesus. Their cornerstone was not their identical views but their shared devotion to Christ. True community blossoms when we place Jesus at the epicenter, allowing our personal transformations to fuel our collective journey.
  4. Ignoring Our Innate Desires At the heart of our pursuits lies a profound longing for the perfect unity of Heaven. Amidst our imperfect attempts at community, let us not lose sight of this heavenly aspiration. Grounded in grace, let us work hand in hand, striving for God’s divine vision until His glorious promise of renewal and unification unfolds.

In the embrace of Jesus, let us endeavor to build a beautiful mosaic of community, celebrating our shared love for Christ, learning from our diverse journeys, and transcending the barriers of expectations and ideals. Through this, we lay the bricks of a supportive, understanding, and loving community, reflecting the radiant light of Christ’s love upon each soul in our midst.