Posted by: pastordarren | September 2, 2009

Community

Many times when we talk about church, the word community is either said or implied. But what really does ‘church community’ mean?

Community is defined by Webster’s as
1. a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.
2. a locality inhabited by such a group.
3. a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually prec. by the): the business community; the community of scholars.

Most often we think of community as those people we see face to face, work, school, neighborhood, church, family, etc.; but I think that the idea of community can be expanded.  The long standing idea that community is a group of people that we see and interact with is being expanded upon in the digital age through different media such as facebook, blogs, websites, texting, email groups, etc.  Just as in groups that you meet face to face with, interaction, caring, conversation, sharing, can be done in the virtual world.

Is this going to replace the commonly held idea of community?  I really hope not, because I enjoy being with people and spending time with them, but the online and virtual communities can be just as important.  Through these avenues we can join together with people from our past (high school, college, military), people from other parts of the world, people with other beliefs and views.  In general, our communities can be greater and more varied than we have had before.  I think this is a great opportunity but should not become the only way we interact with others.

What do you think?  Where is your strongest community?

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