By definition, a community is a group of people who live in the same area. Individuals and families wind up in a community through a variety of avenues. Some people were born and reared in the community in which they live. Some people moved into their community from another community. Some people made the choice to move to their community because of job, schools, location and convenience or family matters.
Ultimately, it does not matter how we wind up in our community. We are here. We are part of a community that has people, places, traditions, opportunities, challenges and needs. Community is important; especially when we keep in mind that the core of a community is people. While a community also has businesses, schools, hospitals, etc; the common denominator is people. The best way to impact your community is through relationships. The most important thing we can do as members of a community is to put others ahead of ourselves. This is why it is called community service.
I had the privilege of spending a few minutes with our Morgan County Football Team today before they left for camp. I was given the honor of speaking to the young men and coaches and praying with them. I shared with them that their community is proud of them for their hard work and how well they represent the community. Our community’s 7-8 year old baseball all-star team won the state championship over the weekend. The players, coaches and their families serve our community well.
Every year when a graduating class walks the stage at Morgan County High School our community does well. Every day that all of our law enforcement and public servants are able to go home to their families is a day that our community does well. A community has reason to celebrate because the people in the community serve the community well.
It matters how we view one another. It matters how we relate to one another. It matters how we treat one another. Community is built on unity not uniformity. Yes, there are differences in our community. Yes, we all have different opinions on the differences. However, different does not mean bad. It just means different. All too often we draw conclusions off our experiences, which create an opinion, which we then label as fact or truth. These opinions and emotions can’t always be trusted. What can be trusted is God’s Word, the Bible. God tells us that we are to love our neighbor (Luke 10:25-37).
How can I love my neighbors? I must set aside all my longings for success and feel for others as if they were me. I must understand that everyone in my community is my neighbor. I must see my neighbor as the person God created and who is wonderfully made.
Community is too important not to make the time and energy to invest.The community is not a resource to grow the church – the church is a resource to serve the community.