The Greek word “Koinonia” means to be cemented to each other as God’s family while being simultaneously cemented to Jesus Christ as Lord and therefore the central Person of our shared lives.  With this understanding, we endeavor to encourage one another to grow in our love and knowledge of Jesus Christ, grow in godly character, grow in grace, grow in our love for people, and to grow in holiness, i.e. showing forth the fruit of the Holy Spirit in increasing measure.

“Authentic growth knows no uniformity.”

Years ago, this helpful statement was included in an article on building Christian community.  The author was explaining that in any group of Christians, the individuals in that group never grow at the same rate or in the same way at the same time.  The point is that God is continually working in each of our lives but not always with the same focus in one life as He is in another. In light of this, keeping a loving and respectful unity in a group of Christians can be challenging. We should come to expect non-linear growth and celebrate it because it shows that people are REALLY growing the way God grows His people.

And it follows, then, that we should be patient with one another, loving people for who they are and accepting them where they are and we should keep from judging people for not being as mature as we think they should be.  This is not lowering the bar, it is embracing reality.

In reference to community, Brennan Manning writes, “The number of people who have left the church because it is too patient or compassionate is negligible; the number who have left because it is too unforgiving is tragic.”

If you desire true Christian community with its blessings of friendship and warm comradery in Christ and you are willing to accept people with their flaws, as you, yourself would want to be accepted, you will find the love of God alive here.

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