Every human has been created in the image of God, yet is unique and given distinct talents, gifts and characteristics. The God we worship is a holy community of persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Because you are created in the image of God, you are designed for community.
Community at Word of Life is about making friends. The Journey is not a solo project. When Jesus said, “Come follow me,” he wasn’t talking to one person. He called many people from different walks of life. He called together a group of people who would genuinely get to know each other and ultimately love one another. This kind of community begins with finding friends who are on The Journey with you, friends who can encourage you and challenge you, friends who can celebrate with you on the good days and rally around you on the bad days.
Community at Word of Life is also about learning to love people who are different than you. The beautiful thing about Christian community is that we often find ourselves worshiping side-by-side and serving side-by-side with people we have very little in common with except for Jesus. This means loving people older than you and younger than you, people from different ethnic backgrounds, people with different political views, people with different educational backgrounds, people who live in different neighborhoods than you, and even people who live across the river in Kansas!
Jesus said that people everywhere will know we are his disciples if we love one another...even if we find that other person different or odd. Christian community starts with friendship, but it goes beyond our inner circle of close friends to embrace others on The Journey as brothers and sisters. In this way, we become a demonstration for the world of people living together in harmony, love, and mutual respect. At the heart of the kingdom of God is a radical work of reconciliation, bringing people together in forgiveness and love under the banner of Jesus Christ.
One of the tangible ways to love people in community is by volunteering to serve in one of the many ministries at the church. Worship, justice, and community are lived out in a variety of ministries, events, and initiatives at Word of Life, all of which happen through the dedication of faithful volunteers. We love to connect people’s passion with our volunteer needs so that each person finds a place to serve where they can use their gifts and passion.
The Four Practices in community:
> Awareness: God is present among us when we gather together in worship.
> Learning: Many of our small groups provide opportunities to learn about yourself, God, the faith, and the Jesus-centered life.
> Reflecting: Take the time to think about what you are learning. Ask yourself: How is this changing my thinking? How is this changing how I look at the world around me? How is this changing what I believe about God, people, and myself.
> Action: Look for ways to put into practice what you are learning. Once things become a habit you will discover a deeper awareness of the presence of God.
Life Together in Christ by Ruth Haley Barton
The Good and Beautiful Community by James Bryan Smith