Monday, August 24, 2009


Proximity is prerequisite to community. You have to be around each other before you can listen to each other, know each other, share with each and carry out all the other "one-anothers."

Actually, From a description of the early church we read in Acts 2 there are four prerequisites to community: proximity, interaction, sharing and intimacy.
1. Proximity. Early on, the people who were part of the Christian community were around each other. They were with each other. They were with the apostles. There was a fellowship. "They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles." (Acts 2:42,43)

2. Interaction. As they started to be together, they started to do things together. They were sharing meals together. They started to “do life” together instead of separately.

3. Sharing. When you get around other people, and start doing things together, you find out what their needs are, and what you can do to help. You begin by sharing your story, and move to sharing your needs. "They had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need." (Acts 2:44,45)
4. Intimacy. Over time the early Christians began to share not just their money, but their hearts. "Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people." (Acts 2:46,47)

Intimacy happens when we share at a deep level, and receive sharing at a deep level. Intimacy rhymes with “into me see.” If we get together and all we talk about is the weather, we are not going to become intimate. But as we talk about our feelings, fears and faith we start to engage each other at a deeper, more intimate level. The four-step process to bonding as a group is 1) input, 2) feedback, 3) deeper input, 4) deeper feedback.

But it all starts with getting together.

By gathering in small groups, we don't insure that community will happen, but we at least give community a chance to happen. Ninety percent of it is "just showing up." In Christian community the percentage might be higher. Jesus said, "When two or three gather in my name I am there." Hebrews warns, "Don't stop getting together." Getting together is the beginning of everything.