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There’s something about watching a movie or reading a news story, article, or book about a team that stirs our hearts. We want to root for their success, understand the struggle, cheer them to victory, and secretly many of us long to be part of them. We identify with our favorite teams. When they lose, we feel it. When they win, we feel it. There’s something special about being part of a team.

So it is with the body of Christ. We are a team. We are called to lean on one another’s strengths, encourage in the midst of weakness, and spur one another on to love and good deeds. God’s people, our brothers and sisters in Christ, are a gift to us given by God for our good. It’s why First Dallas is resolved to participate in the ministry of attendance. We are stronger when we meet together, learn together, and leave the doors of the church to face the world together. The church is our community, and scripture says community is important.

Community is a source of encouragement.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25

We are called to learn and worship together, to care for one another, and be a picture to a watching world of what it looks like to love the Lord and love one another.

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47

Community is source of support when the weight is too heavy for one person to carry.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

We all have a purpose, role, and gift in the body of Christ. We serve best when we serve together for the purpose of glorifying God and pointing others to Him.

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Romans 12:3-5

Community is to be marked by love, serving one another, and caring for one another. We were not meant to live in isolation or go through difficult seasons alone.

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13

We gather to worship. We gather to learn. We ultimately gather to meet with God. He is in our midst.

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20

Community is to be marked by unity. We are called to work through conflict maximize one another’s gifts, and share in suffering.

“That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:25-27

God is very specific on what it looks like to love one another. How we love is meant to be a reflection of how God loves us.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13

This is just a snapshot of how scripture portrays the role of community in our lives. Do you see the power of unity? Do you see how God is glorified when we are actively participating in His body? Do you see His gift to you through His people? We were never made to live in isolation. As a church, we are resolved to love one another, operate in unity, and invite others to join the team of Christ. Will you resolve to join us in this pursuit in 2018?