The Journey Core Values Part 2: Community
For The Journey, we feel so strongly about the necessity of “community” that we put it in our title: A United Methodist Community.
Here’s what I mean when I talk about community:
First, community is a value for us because we want to be a “part” of the community. We desire first and foremost to be a church FOR the community; not just a church IN a community. This is why we want to have a presence at the Arts and Music Festivals throughout the summer, and why we are leasing a space on Main Street and opening a coffee shop. This is why we intend to find out what the community of Crestview Florida needs and find ways to assist in making it happen. We believe that the church exists to be a blessing to the community; and we intend to do just that.
Secondly, community is a value to us because we want to be more than simply a gathering of individuals who meet for an hour on Sunday morning. In my last post I talked about the value of Celebration and the importance of gathering, but the weekly gathering has to be an outflow of the koinonia that has been taking place all week long. Koinonia is a fancy Greek word for fellowship or community. It is our prayer, that the people who call The Journey “home” will find a way to open their “homes” for The Journey. We desire for everyone to have a home group that they can be involved in. By intentionally developing small, missional communities from the very beginning, we will be creating a strand of community in our DNA that will be foundational to who we are.
Missional communities are small groups (10-12 people) that meet in homes throughout the week and focus on service, fellowship and discipleship. We deeply believe that true discipleship can only be developed by “following” Jesus and doing what He did. Large gatherings are wonderful things, but a lifestyle of faith is forged in a daily walk with Jesus, close relationships with fellow sojourners, and selfless service to the least of these.
So, this is why community is one of our core values.
We must dismantle the stereotype of church as a place to go for an hour on Sunday morning. We must deconstruct the dichotomy that exists between our “spiritual” lives and the “rest” of our lives. We are spiritual people, and we are created to harmonize our spiritual lives with every other aspect of our lives. We don’t go to church so that we can check the box for another week and feel good about ourselves. We are the church. And as such, we must find a way to be in community with other followers of Jesus so that we can grow and become the persons that we were created to be.
Community Life Groups will begin in July. We will begin with our core team meeting together weekly at The Connection, serving weekly in some way in the city, studying God’s word together, and building true community.
In this way, we will be able to develop a solid foundation as we begin this amazing Journey!