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27 & 28 January 2024 (Pastoral Page) BEING A PART OF A CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY

By Asst Ps Timothy Lee

I grew up in a Christian family and church has always been a part of my life. I have never experienced a time without a Christian community, and it has been a blessing.

But what does it mean to be a part of a Christian or biblical community?

Firstly, the Christian community is composed of those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and are given the right to become children of God (Jn. 1:12-13). Thanks be to God for what Christ has done for us and given us a new relationship with Him.

Secondly, the Christian community are the children of God living out Christ’s love as brothers and sisters in Christ to one another in the present (Jn. 13:34). His love shown on the Cross has also given us a new family, brothers and sisters in Christ. Our salvation involves not only coming into a relationship with God but also with other believers.

Looking back, I can count many experiences I had in the Christian community. I remember when I was a child, in my home church, the Sunday school teachers taught me lessons from the Bible and helped me to grow in my faith. When I was in my teens, I had a medical condition. I received various forms of help, for example, transportation to and from the hospital from brothers and sisters in the church.

After Tracey and I got married, we went overseas for a short period and were connected with a local church. The brothers and sisters there cared for us and offered various ways to help us settle down, including inviting us to be part of their small group for Bible study. It was a great reminder that no matter where we go, there is always a Christian community we can count on.

These are some examples of Christian communities I have experienced, and I believe some of you have experienced likewise too.

This year, our church is focusing on community and outreach. Primarily on ‘community’ for the first half of the year. What does this mean for us?

As a community of faith, we are to grow spiritually, not just individually but also corporately through meeting up to connect, commit, and confront one another towards the purpose of holiness as we are called to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together…but encourage one another” (Heb. 10:22-25).

Our culture tend to promote individualism which is the opposite of what a Christian community is. That means we will have to go against the tide.

One of the ways you can do this is to be in a CARE Group (CG) which meets regularly to worship, study the Bible, share life with one another and pray together. As our church is a mid-size church, it is easy to just come and go. Being in a CARE Group prevents loneliness, doubt and unbelief as the aim of the CARE Group is to promote community, care, mutual support, encouragement and accountability for the goal of Christian discipleship. If you have not yet joined a CG, I encourage you to join one and if you are already in one, continue to encourage one another to grow in the Lord.

The Bible also tells us those who are in Christ, though many, are one body and all the members do not have the same function and we need one another (Rom. 12:4-5).

As God placed us in this community of faith, The Bible Church, we are this local body of believers. As Paul in 1 Cor. 12:12-27 illustrates for us, each part of the body is unique and has a necessary function, which means each of us has an important role in this body. Which means you are important.

Generally in churches, it is said that 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. Imagine that percentage of function happening in your physical body! Step out and live out the role God has called you to by discovering your uniqueness and necessary ‘function’ in the church. You can do this by volunteering in some of our church service opportunities or simply connecting with any pastoral staff who will be happy to guide you.

As we start the year, my prayer for you is that you will grow in The Bible Church, not just in knowledge but also in the joy of your heart as you have a shared experience with the brothers and sisters here.

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