Authentic Community

by Jenny Isaminger

Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can “have church” anywhere you want - you can watch sermons online, you can blast worship music in your car, you can do a Bible study that you bought at Lifeway, you can carry your Bible in your pocket thanks to Bible apps - and I’m thankful for all of these things. You really can spend quality time in the presence of Jesus wherever you are. You don’t have to wait for Sunday.

I’ve read that this generation - who takes advantage of sermons on TV and podcasts (neither of which is bad by the way!) are attending church less and less. They’re getting teaching in other formats, and hey - that’s one of the amazing blessings of technology!

But what are we missing?

We forget that when God created the Church, when He created a body of believers, one of the key things He created us for is for each other. He created us for fellowship, community, support, encouragement, and not just fellowship and community -  but authentic fellowship and community.

There have been seasons of life where it was hard for us to attend church. Newborns and sick toddlers and seasons of travel - sometimes it felt like it was going to take an act of congress for me to get to church consistently. And I’d fill in the blanks with all the glorious ways technology allows us to fill in the blanks - but I was missing something huge. I felt like I was drowning. I needed my people. I needed God’s people.

Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

In Acts 2:42 we read, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”

Eating together and praying together cannot be emphasized enough in my life. I need to commune, to gather, to be with the body of believers.

We are the hands and feet of Christ, we are His vessels! He uses YOU to share and show His love to others - and being in an authentic community is where you will find those opportunities.

I have seen such beautiful love from my brothers and sisters in Christ. One of my favorite examples of this was the night that our community was flooding in the days of Hurricane Harvey. None of us could get to one another due to flooded streets, and we were all texting and calling, checking in to make sure everyone was okay. We started getting reports that people had water in their homes while others were saying the water was creeping up to the door.

So, what did we do? We hopped on a conference call and prayed. If we couldn’t gather in someone’s home and if we couldn’t drive over and rescue each other physically, we knew we could gather in a different way (there’s that technology again!) and pray together. It was the sweetest blessing.

We visit each other in hospitals, we bring food, we watch each other’s kids, we loan out cars, we give financially, we drive people to rehab and we help people move. We do life together and we do it authentically. God created us for community.

Jenny Isaminger is married to Grant and has been married for 12 years.  They have two kids, Ellie (6) and Jack (2).  They have been members at Crossings Community Church for 4 years.

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