The whole question of community is something that I’ve wrestled with for years, what does it look like, how should it be ‘done’, etc.? I think now however that I have the real definition of community. And it comes from very personal experience.
Now, this blog is really not about me, but to explain I have to tell you just a little. After 12 years in Canada, we are returning to the UK – we were called out here, and we now believe the Lord is calling us back. Twelve years to the day, precisely. Not planned, but 12 years seems somehow appropriate.
In all this time I have been part of a church with a deeply welcoming heart. Not perfect for sure, and we have had our fair share of challenges. But the first church that I have ever been part of that could be honestly said to be a community. Where it’s not just acquaintances that attend on Sunday, but something much deeper than that. And I am going to really miss their friendship.
In the midst of our move, I think I have discovered the meaning of community.
- It is friends who, not knowing if they will see you again, work late cleaning your house and haul away your garbage.
- It is friends who drop by unannounced with meals to feed the hungry, with no expectation of return.
- It is friends who stay up and drive out to your house past midnight to pick up those extra bags you just can’t stuff in, and who open their home up to the newly minted homeless family.
- It is friends who give, with no expectation of return, because they love you. That is community.