Although individualism has nothing particularly wrong with it, it has both positive and negative effects on our connection with God, just like all other viewpoints. Christians understand the value of having a personal relationship with God, and that relationship grows through independent study, prayer, and worship. However, our individualism can make us miss the importance of community in the Christian faith, leaving us feeling isolated and unconnected from one another.

Photo source: Matt Botsford

Every day, we experience the effects of this absence of community. Surprisingly, the technology we anticipated would have united us has left us even more estranged: we send WhatsApp messages to friends instead of meeting them in person. We are less connected yet more reachable. We consequently live in a world where there are many acquaintances but few close relationships.

This individualistic mentality has a significant impact on how Christians view the community in our faith. Churches frequently define communal worship as traditional systems of one-on-one sessions, where a more spiritually advanced individual meets frequently with others to aid in our guidance and development. The Christian faith places a lot of importance on the community; a few of these are listed below.

  • Helps character development

The community can influence character development by encouraging group revival. God can motivate a group of individuals to seek out transformed lives. The community encourages people to seek God, which transforms the neighborhood as a whole. The community can also be useful in mending fences and mending bridges. Jesus urged His followers in Matthew to involve one or two more people—or even the entire church—to reconcile with a brother or sister who had wronged them.

Photo source: William White

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” – Matthew 13:15-17

To promote Christlike behavior, God can also utilize those who are well-known in a community.

  • Brings the Bible to life and makes it real

Nobody challenges the need of reading God’s Word for developing oneself. The objective of preaching the Bible in communities before the revolution was to help people grow spiritually. However, perhaps the world is moving too far the other way. Today, we are primarily concerned with the study and meditation that each person does during their devotional time. While personal devotional time in the Bible is significant, we Christians should also engage in community Bible study as it helps bring the Bible to life.

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Dominion TV, Africa’s Christian Lifestyle Network for Inspired and Empowered Living.