The largest community in the world consists of over one billion members.
Let that number sink in for a minute. One-seventh of the entire world is linked together through one single community. This community has devoted followers and daily attendees to its meeting place. You can gain access to every single member in an instance. You can even talk to someone who lives in another country in seconds and you don't even have to limit your characters....
As you may have guessed, this is the community of Facebook.
While Facebook has its benefits and helpful tools I wonder if this change in mindset to view this as our most affective and influential community is beneficial. In other words, is Facebook our best shot at real community?
The bible illustrates the idea of true community in the book of Acts.
Acts 2:42 says, "They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
The word "devoted" is an essential element to true community. In the original Greek language, "devoted" means to be attached to someone or to worship. So this new, vibrant community of Christ followers in the book of Acts devoted themselves to each other and the object of their worship which was Jesus Christ. For them it went farther than just connecting with one another. They spent time together, prayed for one another, loved each other and worshiped Jesus together. This community served a greater purpose.
They had a mission and a purpose that was bigger than just themselves. Jesus taught these very disciples in John 13:35 saying, "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." As we know a key element to loving someone is being devoted to them, being attached to them so to speak.
The fight we face with the students of this generation is against the many things they attach themselves to and to put it more plainly what we allow them to attach themselves to. Whether its to a relationship, technology, television, sports, etc. the normalcy of attachment to community is engrained in all of us but is this "new normal" healthy? Or, would it be healthier to fight for our students to be attached to a community of other people who love each other and the Lord and Savior of their lives, Jesus Christ?
Should that be our expected norm for these students that we love so much? Can we say that is normal in our lives?
Posted on Thu, January 17, 2013
by Griffin Gilstrap