You have likely heard the Church referred to as “the Body of Christ.” But what is a church community, and how is it different than the Body of Christ written about in God’s Word?
Why is church community important, and how do we build community in our local churches beyond Sundays?
Defining Church Community and the Body of Christ
- A church community is a group of Believers, usually locally, that gather to worship, pray, get into God’s Word, and do life together. Church community is built upon a common mission—to passionately pursue Jesus with hearts on fire to reach the lost.
An example of a church community that passionately pursued Jesus is in Acts 2. Their hearts were on fire with the love of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. They met daily to eat, worship, and be glad. And what was the result of this church community? “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”—Acts 2:47
When you seek God intimately and meet with others who do the same, the supernatural result is that God multiplies the movement. This is why the church community is important! He uses community to reach the lost, and this happens beyond Sundays.
Sadly today, most of us attend our local congregations’ Sunday services and go on about our weeks as planned, not looking to incorporate the words we heard just days before. We get wrapped up in our schedules, work, and to-do lists and forget we are intended to walk with others throughout the week on our faith journeys.
God’s heart is for us to passionately pursue Him to share His heart with others. God has always been for all people, for all nations–this goes beyond Sundays.
- The Body of Christ is the worldwide collective community of God’s people, built on the truth of who Jesus is. The church community in Acts “broke bread together.” They became part of a bigger community, the Body of Christ, which shares in “one bread,” Jesus. “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, since all of us share the one bread.”—1 Corinthians 10:17
An explanation of the Body of Christ is in Ephesians 4:15-16. Paul wrote, “But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head—Christ. From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building itself up in love by the proper working of each individual part.”
As part of the Body of Christ, we are His ambassadors in this world and are given the call to labor for Him. Jesus was focused on seeking and saving the lost. His strategic plan was to have more Kingdom Laborers in every sphere of society. We are to be Kingdom Laborers so that by impacting one person, we might impact many.
The local church community is part of the Body of Christ, and both are vital to impacting the world.
What do you do with this understanding? See yourself the way God does, as His “Pan A” within the Body of Christ to engage those around you. He has a purpose for you to impact those in your church community and beyond by loving them every day and everywhere.
Jesus had a prayer request for church communities within the Body of Christ to be “sent out” by the power of the Holy Spirit into the fields. If Jesus prayed for it, it would be accomplished. Prayerfully ask Him how He wants to answer this prayer through you.
- “… ’The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’”—Matthew 9:37-38
3 Ways to Build Church Community Beyond Sunday
Building a church community that goes beyond Sunday hinges upon engaging others with a heart on fire for Jesus. How do you engage those around you?
- Create connections beyond Sundays.
Build a church community by fostering connections that can be multiplied. Create or get resources for groups in your congregations to help them discover their spiritual gifts and discuss how these gifts are intended to help them disciple others. To truly move beyond Sundays, those in your church community must have discipleship tools to help them be disciples and make disciples.
Discipleship is often talked about. However, many followers of Jesus don’t know what it means or how it is practiced. Though often done in one-on-one connection, discipleship is intended to have a multiplying impact—to go beyond the church walls on Sunday. How does this work? By teaching others to become disciples and giving them tools to multiply their efforts.
- Reach out through outreach beyond Sundays.
Outreach opportunities reach those in your community who might not otherwise hear about Jesus’ love and plans for their lives. In Matthew 28, Jesus shares His heart for the whole world, for all nations. He wants to see disciples multiplied. As mentioned above, this often takes place in day-to-day relationships, but a movement can also be sparked by a speaker at a church event, retreat, or conference.
The word “nations” didn’t refer to geo-political countries in the Bible. Rather, it referred to tribes or ethnolinguistic people groups—in other words, all the people who weren’t from Israel. If you want to reach the lost, consider outreach events that will ignite hearts.
Prayerfully ask God how your next outreach event can compel those who attend to take action. Ask Him to lead you to a speaker who is engaging, relatable, and passionate about advancing God’s Kingdom.
- Point others to Jesus beyond Sundays.
Maybe you think you are disqualified or have made too many mistakes to be a Kingdom Laborer (a person who loves God and others and wants to advance the Kingdom wherever you are). But here’s the good news, you don’t need to focus on your abilities. Instead, point to the one who is able—Jesus! Let your life be a living testimony of Jesus’ redeeming work, and give Him the glory.
It might be easy talking to those in your local church community about Jesus. But have you thought about talking to those in your workplace, school, or neighborhood? God has given you a YOU-unique ministry. It starts with meeting people you interact with every day at their point of need.
The Big Takeaway
God’s heart is to employ your unique situation and life to advance His Kingdom. He will grow His people through the church community, but that community includes you.
- Ask God to show you His ministry purpose for you.
- Consider the three ways above to build church community beyond Sundays.
- Look for ways to pause when talking with someone this week, asking God how you can show them Jesus.
- Pray and ask God to open opportunities to ignite hearts for Jesus in your church community.
Want to help your church make an impact and build community? Connect with a Forge Speaker and create momentum for spiritual growth in your church! Encourage your members to go beyond Sundays for your next event.