There’s a revolution going on in the Church. The Holy Spirit is stirring hearts of leaders around the country to fix the severe problem of the lack of community in our churches. (this is my hook).

Community seems to be lacking big-time in the Church. I feel like it’s missing b/c we’re all about meeting in large anonymous groups, we say “how’s it going? fine” at church, we don’t have intimate groups to be accountable in, and we don’t sacrifice for each others’ needs. Also, we’re so legalistic that we can’t be honest about the crazy sin in our lives. – at least, it seems that way to me. Therefore, I propose we try house church. – this is the crazy suggestion that everyone adamently opposes.

Well, I find it very interesting that just in the last few weeks, BOTH Matt Chandler (awesome speaker) and Francis Chan (awesome!) have been preaching about community and are trying to take steps to create community in their mega churches. What they were doing was NOT getting it done (my point).

Matt said (paraphrased) “You guys coming here and listening to me preach is Not church! It’s sitting across from your neighbor, having a cup of coffee and getting confronted in love about sin in your life.” – April 27th, 2008 sermon

Francis Chan, in his April 27 message spoke about this guy, Steve (I forget his name). Steve left a gang and got saved and got baptized at Cornerstone. A little while later he told the friend he was leaving the church. He said it was b/c he thought he would be loved like he was in the gangs. In the gangs they love each other, they got your back, they are together like all the time – he was disappointed in the church (I am too) so he left. – b/c of a lack of community!

I think it’s EXTREMELY interesting that these guys both talked about this recently. LOOK! It’s a serious problem, there’s no community in our churches! We have to win this! especially to reach the postmodern generation.

(Francis is even scaling back on his building to “do more” – this is very much like what I propose!!! – also see his April 6th sermon at the 21min mark they talk about lowering the pastors from their too high place (recent Leadership Journal also talks about this), shrinking programs (religious activities), doing more for the community, believers living in community with one another – taking care of each others’ problems. I wonder if what they propose will work!?) PLEASE! YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS SERMON

Well, what do you think?
1) Do we need more community in our churches?
2) If so, how can we do that? You know my crazy solution, what’s your solution?

I feel like if we could attain greater community and love for each other, this would help us love others and be HUGE for evangelism (people would be so attracted to our community as they were in Acts 2:47)


7 Responses to “SEVERELY BROKEN Sense of”

  1. one of my mentors says that “cause creates community.” i think he’s right. there is something shallow and missing about gathering people together for the sake of building community. instead, it seems to be much more meaningful when we band together based on a cause, perhaps the bigger and more vital the cause, the deeper the sense of community.
    i’ve been experimenting with this principle for a while – it makes sense to me.

  2. 2 jessephillips

    Tony, thanks so much for your comment!

    That’s an amazing insight! How have you applied the principle?

  3. one thing i try to do is to motivate people for goals that are larger than themselves and larger than just the existence or sustainment of the group. i’m fortunate though because in my context, students come to me already signing up for a bigger goal or cause. [i coordinate student mission teams.]

    ps – thanks for the comment on my blog – always hard to figure out the best place to reply. and thanks for what you guys do with catalyst!

  4. 4 Daryl

    I’m hoping to change things up a bit for the summer in our church. My idea is that over the summer we’ll have people come together, we’ll do some singing and worship as a big group and then split up for some ‘get to know each other’ kinda time. People LOVE visiting with each other at our church meetings and it feels like we are totally interrupting them to start the “service”.

    I want to use the entire building (since we are stuck with it for now) to facilitate people getting to know each other. I picture all the different rooms having different things going on in them, like an art room, a music room for jamming, maybe some craft kinda rooms where adults and kids actually do stuff together, rooms just set up for coffee and visiting, a prayer room, and of course have a place where there is deliberate INTERACTIVE teaching going on… People can just go wherever they want, meet new people, share their hearts, find out what others needs are and how they can be met…

    It’s not a fully fleshed out idea yet, so I would welcome any suggestions especially in regards to areas I might have missed.

  5. 5 Corey

    Great sermon, thanks for posting it. Seeing the church in Acts and seeing the American church is scary. We are not the same at all, churches seem to operate to keep themselves going. The create programs for their members, activities for their kids, and sermons designed to make them feel good. The problem I see is our pride, not just the churches but the members as well. I don’t want to let people know that I am struggling, or if I am in need of help, I feel like I can get through it on my own. But that is all works, I need to have faith in God, and that he has set up his church to strengthen me in my faith.

    Can’t wait to see what comes of this project. To me this is a great starting point, hopefully American Christianity can do something amazing with all the wealth God has blessed us with.

  6. 6 jessephillips

    thanks for your comment. I totally agree! Ever since reading about the Church in Acts I’ve felt like we’re not doing something right. We totally have all these activities, but so little life change. And it is hard to be honest about your sin in our semi-legalistic environments.

    I think that is VERY interesting! I like that it has variety and allows people to engage each other more. I would love to hear how it goes.

  7. 7 Paul G

    Jess, great post…for starters, what needs to change isn’t just a few programs or even our lifestyle. We have some underlying beliefs as Americans which runs completely counter to how Jesus wants us to live. For instance, we are crazy individualistic, so we seek community as a way to avoid being lonely, as a way to please ourselves as individuals. No matter what form it took, our community wouldn’t be a true community so long as we held onto our inalienable rights as Jefferson called them. Only when we start to give up our individual right to decide right and wrong and the individual right to interpret Scripture in favor of understanding God in the context of our relationships with each other will we begin to see what happened in Acts.

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