Extending Community to Others
What would our covenant community look like if we modeled it more and more after Jesus?
By Clint Fisher, Upper Elementary Principal
At Perimeter School, we love the idea of covenant community. We desire to belong, to feel special, to feel wanted, and to be supported in times of struggle. We enjoy being known, feeling significant, and feeling like we contribute to something bigger than ourselves.
the Enemies of community
If we want to protect our covenant community, then we need to identify the enemies of community. Community takes time and involvement. We need to show up often and with a good attitude, which often requires making time in our schedules.
However, I would suggest there is another enemy of community that is a bigger threat than our busy lives.
This threat comes from within us, and it grows simply because we love community itself. We selfishly approach community for what it can provide for us. This selfishness corrupts the community like a poison from within. What does this look like?
We show up at an event, and we enjoy our friends. We engage with those friends, and we never notice others who walk by us and may not feel like they belong. They may be looking for someone to reach out to them, and if no one does, they will remain invisible.
the greater gift of community
Enjoying community is a natural feeling; however, there is a greater gift of being in community that we can experience. It may require us to trust God with our own desires to be included. It may require us to turn our social gifts toward others rather than just enjoying community for our own interests.
In Philippians 2:5, we are called to “have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.” What would our covenant community look like if we modeled it more and more after Jesus?
What if we started a conversation with someone we did not know well? What if we chose to invest in someone who is outside of our normal friend group? What if we smiled at everyone we saw at school and church? What if we did this here within the walls of Perimeter School, as well as where we live, work, and play?
We may think we are too busy or too tired to do this. I would suggest that we are too busy and too tired NOT to do this. If we do not fight for real community, then we will be left with a pseudo-community of people selfishly pursuing affirmation from others, which is as empty as a desert is empty of water.
Join me. I am choosing to get to know a new person every week. I am choosing to trust God with my own community as I try to provide real community for someone else. Let us be the hands, feet, words, smiles, and friendship of Christ to the world around us.