I’m in a band! Not a very big or good band, we’re just starting out really playing once a month, rocked up versions of contemporary Christian songs to God (“worship songs” for the uninitiated). I love it, I’m passionate about it, I have fun doing it, it’s just great and it’s just me.
But I’ve found an unexpected benefit. I feel like a part of a real community.
Community is a huge thing. The Bible’s quite clear about relationships and community being essential to life…it’s a Christian cliche but we were made to be in relationships with other people.
I also believe that community is very difficult to find in a society like ours which is incredibly transitory. I’ve not lived in one place for more than 2 years since I left in University and I still don’t have a clear idea of where I will settle. Jobs, girlfriends, family and ourselves all contribute to make us move on quite often. Christians in particular are often faced with the guilt trip of being in a “comfort zone” that they need to move out of.
The band is just one example of something that achieves relationship, community and closeness through having common passions, aspirations and goals.
I also play 6-a-side, an activity which I only started a few weeks ago but which has already made me a lot of friends.
These things (and many others like them) should be examples to us of how to form community. Christians should exist in community with each other because they share a common passion for Jesus and a common goal of seeing his kingdom on earth. But we should also exist in community with people who don’t believe in our faith.
We need to engage with those around us and that will require finding common ground. Let us get out there and find what we have in common with out neighbours. God wants us to and we might be surprised – maybe there are close friends waiting to be made.