How to Find a Great Christian Community

Monday, February 25, 2019
Christian community is incredibly important for the Christian life. But finding a godly, Christian community to help you grow in God can be difficult sometimes. What is Christian community and how can you find it? Learn How to Find a Great Christian Community. 

Good friends enjoying Christian community

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Christian community is something I crave often. I need support of people who love the Lord in order to walk well in life. We all need people who will love us, support us, encourage us, and also be willing to call us out if we get off track.

As Christians, we need other Christians who know their Bibles, seek to know God more, and who care whether or not we are doing the same. My pastor often says, "We all suffer from spiritual amnesia." We can be super fired-up and ready to go right after church or right after an awesome bible reading time, but give us a day (or even a few hours) and somehow we forget what we've learned and go back to our selfish ambitious.

The Christian life is a long marathon - not a sprint - and the Bible tells us over and over again that we need each other. And we really do. We need friends who share our love for Jesus. We need friends who build us up. And we even need friends who need us to build them up, since it helps us to become more like Jesus when we do so. We need people who will bear our burdens and we need to bear theirs (Galatians 6:2).

Finding Christian community can be hard sometimes though. It's not always a quick fix, but if you are trying to find some solid, godly community, I have some ideas today for how you can accomplish that.

Learn how to find a great Christian community you can trust

Get Yo Butt To Church

I used to believe that I didn't need church. I was the first to spout the phrase "you don't have to go to church to be a Christian". And while that phrase is technically true, it skips over the fact that God calls us to be in an active, Christ-centered community that encourages us in our walk with God and calls us out and keeps us accountable (Gal. 6:2, Rom. 12:5, Heb. 10:24-25).

Regarding the importance of going to church, Rosaria Butterfield says in The Gospel Comes with a House Key:

"Living in community is not just pleasant; it is life saving. In "Life Together" Bonhoeffer comments: 'Sin demands to have a man by himself. It withdraws him from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more extractive will be the power of sin over him, and the more deeply he becomes involved in it, the more disastrous is his isolation.' Sin demands isolation. While community [Christian community, the church] does not inoculate us against sin, it is a sweet balm of safety."

The church is far from perfect, but I am becoming more and more convinced of our need for it as Christians as I see that God uses the broken people within the body to bring about growth, encouragement, and discipline.

Look for a Community Bible Study

Maybe you have a church, but your church doesn't offer Bible studies, or all the events they host happen while you are at work. Maybe you are the only young person in your church, or maybe you are older and all the events are geared towards young-adults. In those cases, check online to see if there is a Community Bible study in your area. I know multiple people who have benefited from these studies.

If you look at the Community Bible Study website, you can search for studies that are near you. I recommend utilizing this resource if you are not in a church that provides a weekly Bible study.

Be Picky

Be strong in the truths of the Bible when you are looking for a Christian community. Your community doesn't have to believe exactly alike in secondary issues (such as baptism, styles of worship, views of the end times, etc.), but they do need to have the basics straight (salvation through Christ alone, the trinity, Divine inspiration of Scripture, the perfect nature of God). Being picky about the primary issues will increase your chances of finding a community of believers who help keep you  grounded in your faith, will keep you truly accountable, and will not lead you astray.

Related: 7 Questions to Ask Yourself When Looking for a Church

Look For Church Events

Even if you haven't found a church yet, start looking for church events in your area. You don't have to attend that particular church in order to attend their events, and there is almost always something going on at a church in your area.

Piggy-backing off of my prior point, be a bit picky by typically sticking to events at churches that you can get on board with doctrinally. This does not mean that you have to agree with everything that church says, but if you are looking for like-minded friends, it makes sense that you would eliminate events at churches who's beliefs are heretical or dangerous.

But don't let this make you nervous. Many churches have websites with statements of faith or a "what we believe" section. Checking this out is an excellent way to find what you are looking for.

Bible verse (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Have Proper Expectations

Christian community is not there to replace God. It will never be your Savior and it will never be perfect. In fact, God has you in imperfect community in order to shape you and make you more like Christ - having the opportunity to exercise Christ-likeness when it is not easy to do so.

Likewise, you are not perfect either. You will hurt people in your community whether you are aware of it or not, and you are never the "perfect addition" to a group. Nevertheless, God has called us to Christian community to help our brothers and sisters in Christ grow, as they also help us grow. We need Christian community and Christian community needs us and our gifts.

So have proper expectations about Christian community. Don't expect perfection from your community, but expect God to do great things despite the imperfections.

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