42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. Acts 2:42-44
In The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace, Scott Peck believes that conscious community building is a process of deliberate design based on the knowledge and application of certain rules. He states that this process goes through four stages
- Pseudo-community: Where participants are "nice with each other", playing-safe, and presenting what they feel is the most favorable sides of their personalities.
- Chaos: When people move beyond the in authenticity of pseudo-community and feel safe enough to present their "shadow" selves.
- Emptiness: This stage moves beyond the attempts to fix, heal and convert of the chaos stage, when all people become capable of acknowledging their own woundedness and brokenness, common to us all as human beings. Out of this emptiness comes
- True community: the process of deep respect and true listening for the needs of the other people in this community. This stage Peck believes can only be described as "glory" and reflects a deep yearning in every human soul for compassionate understanding from one's fellows.
My heart breaks when I see people try to find “True Community” by buying another $4 cup of coffee, or signing up for another book club, or visiting the local sports bar on a weekly basis. Each of us has a deep yearning to be known and to know others.
My heart also breaks when we show up every Sunday and settle for “pseudo-community”, a place where we play it safe and only talk about the pleasantries of life. God has created us to have deep relationships with our fellow human beings and we settle for asking about the weather and scheduling our life around the TV. Today, I invite you to not settle for the norm, but to live out community—Christian Community.
At Southland, we are intentional in making environments one can find “true community”. Some times we do a great job and at other times we don’t do as well as we should. However, our goal is to have a group of people where that deep yearning for connection and understanding from another human being and for God can occur because each of us is created in the image of God designed for relationship.
Our primary way of forming community is through our Sunday Morning Bible Studies that meet before and after worship. If you are not in one of our Sunday morning Bible Studies (Sunday School), you are missing out—you are missing out on Community, not community that is found at the coffee shop or the sports bar—community that can only be found by being with brothers and sisters in Christ. This week would be a great day to try one out. Most of our small groups are sharing a meal afterwards and you are invited. Please drop me a note at
if you need any help finding the small group community for you.
Have a great day and can’t wait for Back to Church Sunday!
Grace and Peace,