Christianity is Trinitarian. This fact informs everything we think about and all that we do. I know we probably don’t spend enough time contemplating this (I certainly don’t), but there it is. We trace our orthodoxy back to the Trinity all the time, like finding the source of a great river. But we must also trace our orthopraxy there as well. The well-head is, as always, the three-in-one.
One aspect of this is the Trinity dwelling in community. The persons commune with each other constantly. Perhaps “community” is a bit of a weak word to describe this, but it’s the best we have.
It turns out that we humans dwell in community as well. The most important being the church, not simply communing with the saints of the past through study and tradition, but community on a more local and visceral level.
This is one of those basic things we tend to forget. Because it’s so basic. We figure it just happens. And for the most part it does, except when it doesn’t.
If you don’t try to build community, your church is going to be transient. It’s going to be like an inn, with people stopping by only in passing. It won’t seem real and organic. It will seem fake, glossy, and superficial.
People, after all, make the difference.
Real, organic, deeply-rooted community survives all kinds of things. Changes in leadership, bad preaching, what have you.
You don’t define your church as a place. It might be rooted to a building or a particular school gym or someone’s house, but it’s not a place. It’s a group of people. The direction the church takes determines the kind of people that will show up. It determines the sort of community that will be built or will build itself.
This is such a fundamental thing that you won’t notice it when it’s there. But you will when it’s not. We are made to fellowship, to exist in community. This is part of us bearing the image of God, that we see to do what he does. We seek his level, imperfectly, a corrupted, broken attempt, but we try nonetheless.