My parents are gardeners. Growing up I ate fresh vegetables and fruit. I vividly remember the juicy taste of tomatoes and strawberries.
Yet, I remember the outward appearance of these naturally grown fruits was always different.
Organic community is both consistent and diverse.
What is the seed of organic community?
In the previous post I said organic community must have a raw and organic beginning, similar to how organic fruit or vegetables start with non-GMO seed. God is the original seed of community.
In his book Created for Community, Stanley Grenz states,
God’s triune nature means that God is social or relational— God is the “social Trinity.” And for this reason, we can say that God is “community.” God is the community of the Father, Son, and Spirit, who enjoy perfect and eternal fellowship.
From the very beginning God reveals that his way of life is not singular but plural. “Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image'” (Genesis 1:26).
God is the consistency and we are the diversity of community.
The organic community of the early church
Looking at the birth of the early church, we see evidence of organic community.
In the book of Acts, the followers of Jesus came together with expectation. Imagine the emotions in the room!
Jesus left them with no formula but a simple command to wait for the promise of the Father,
“which you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:4).
Many times we desire a formula on how to create community. We want to be told how to muster up results. Organic community is the opposite of that.
There are no formulas because the organic seed is God who is a relational being.
Diversity is the basis for organic community
God loves diversity. Organic community reflects the diverse and creative nature of God.
When the Holy Spirit encounters the disciples in the upper room, the result is not identical tongues (languages). The result isn’t a call for uniformity.
The result is a diversity of tongues (languages) calling together a diverse crowd of people. In Acts 2:9-11, the author mentions sixteen different regional locations.
Diversity was welcomed in the early church.
What shall we do?
Throw out your formulaic approach to community.
I've been training my mind to think differently about community. I avoid saying I want to create community, and replace that with, I want to nurture and foster community.
Embrace a relational view of community.
God is a relational being working within humanity. He is the creator of community because he is community. Community will always look different from the outside but will feel the same on the inside.
I encourage you to simply ask God what He is creating around you.
Are there dear relationships in your life? Invest your time and effort there.
God resides within people, we (believers) are His temple (1 Cor 3:16).
Look for God in His people, and you will find yourself in community!
This is a guest post by Sergei Kutrovski whom I've worked with the past few years teaching and training others in discipleship and Inductive Bible Study. You can see more of his posts at — http://kutrovski.wordpress.com/