I am a coffee junkie. I drink Starbucks almost everyday, and I drink the same exact thing each time: a venti iced coffee with 3 pumps of caramel with no ice. I found out that getting iced coffee without ice makes my order fairly unique. Having a unique order means that the people at the Starbucks I frequent know my name and my order pretty well. This fact was made clear when my wife went to get me coffee. She asked for a venti iced coffee with no ice, and before she could finish the order, the barista interrupted and asked, “Oh, is this for Philip?”
A lot of other coffee enthusiasts ask me why I keep going to Starbucks often. I tell everyone the same thing, and that is they know my order and they know me. Maybe it’s a little thing, but to me, that matters. It’s nice to walk into a place and belong. I work at a bank, and a value of the managers of my branch is knowing the customers by name so we can better assist them. It is something people as a whole desire.
Why does this matter? Two of the biggest needs of the human heart are to be known and to belong to something. This is how we were created. This is God’s design.
Genesis 2:18 says, “It is not good for man to be alone.” This is the first time in human history that God says something isn’t good. Now, many of you may have heard this taught in regards to marriage, but this isn’t the case. God is simply saying that we are made for relationship. God made us to do life with others, as well as with Him. God made us to long to be known and to long to belong. God created us for community.
Living life in community is so important in following Jesus. We need people around us to encourage us, strengthen us, point us toward Christ and even call us out on our sin. Trust me, this works. Community isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. It’s also about confessing sin, and calling out sin in others. It’s really hard to confess sin to others, but it makes sin harder to commit when you know you have to tell others about it. It’s this type of transparency that we were created for.
When we are in community, Jesus uses that to stir our affections for Him and to mold us and make us into the image of Christ. This stirring of affections is just a way of saying it is something that makes us fall deeper in love with Jesus. When others are pointing you toward Jesus, it is hard to not fall deeply in love with Jesus. Confessing sin makes you understand forgiveness and fall deeper in love with the one who sent His Son to forgive your sin. This is what community is all about: pushing you to fall in love with Jesus more and more.
It doesn’t matter if you are finding community in church, a small group, or a group text with other Christ-followers. For everyone it looks different, but the important thing is that you have this type of Christ-centered community. If you do not, I would encourage you to find it. Find some other people who love Jesus and want to take their relationship with Him seriously. I promise you will find yourself strengthened, encouraged, and eager to follow Christ the best you know how.
The goal of community is to point you to Jesus and to help you in your relationship with Him. Find that community and hold on tight. Fight for your relationship with Christ, and fight for Christ-centered community. It will be the best thing you can do.
Trust the process. Take your next step. Now is your moment.