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Building Christian Community

We hope this little book can give you some ideas about how to create and cultivate Christian community, but really God is not limited to our experiences. He can show up in a unique expression of ministry in each person in your fellowship and in every fellowship in the world. The most important thing to remember is that Christ is the sovereign head of the body, and, if you are not afraid and you listen to him, you will soon be doing things you never expected that will be effective for ministry and community.

Christ is the North Star by which we must navigate all things. To aim to become his effective community that hears the voice of the Spirit and does what he says, that functions as one in the mind of Christ, is very important. Such a community will include hospitality, intercession, instruction, physical and spiritual nourishment, creativity, networking, outreach, and social interaction. If all of these things are done in love, they are the “how” of community. Just before his crucifixion, Jesus prayed that his people would be a united and vital community. Do you remember it? This is what he said: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:20–22 NIV).

Our eye needs to be “single,” or focused on Christ, but our heart needs to be open in love because he is our focus and he is love. Yes, there is only one way to heaven and that is him, but there are many ways to show that glorious truth to others. He is the conductor, and we are the majestic orchestra. No instrument is less important than another. Let’s give Jesus the last word on community, shall we?

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:9–17 NIV)




Further Reading about Creative Ways to Build Christian Community

Video Introduction to Creative Ways to Build Christian Community

Helping create Christian community



  1. Bonheoffer, Life Together, 20.
  2. Ibid., 21

This chapter is from the book Creative Ways to Build Christian Community edited by Jeanne C. DeFazio and John P. Lathrop (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2013). Used by permission of Wipf & Stock Publishers.

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Category: Ministry, Summer 2015

About the Author: Olga Soler is director, writer, and performer for Estuary Ministries, a Christ-centered performing arts ministry dealing with biblical themes, inner healing, abuse, and addictive problems. She holds degrees in education and communications with equivalent studies in theology and psychology. She has authored, co-authored, and illustrated several books including Tough Inspirations from the Weeping Prophet and The Body.

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