Daniel Darling with the Communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC) gives 5 basic best practices to build community in the church and build up the body of Christ. Because Christianity was not meant to be lived individualistically, when you put your faith in Christ, you are baptized into a body, joined to a people.
- Attend the potlucks.
There is a lot in Scripture about “breaking bread” together, because something beautiful happens when people enjoy a meal together. It breaks down differences and unites you in your need to sustain yourself with food. What happens at a potluck may be as important as what happens in church.
- Host other people at your home.
If you want to experience community, you need to invest yourself in creating it. Relationships take work, they take time, they take effort, they take intentionality. There is a level of discipleship and spiritual growth that only happens in long conversations over food.
- Help someone move or with a home project.
It’s amazing how much you can learn about a person as you are lifting a couch with them. I know it sounds weird, but working with someone outside of church, goes a long way in developing life-long relationships. You develop deep, good, rich friendships as you work, sweat and struggle alongside people all the while learning their unique sorrows and joys.
- Get involved in a ministry.
Work alongside someone you may not know. Perhaps it’s folding bulletins or maybe it’s working on a church project. Serve in whatever capacity you are gifted and or wherever there is a need. Roll up your sleeves and get involved, taking ownership of an area where you can apply your unique set of gifts and talents.
- Know and pray over the needs of others.
Do you pray for the people of your church? Do you know what to pray for? In order to pray rightly for your brothers and sisters, we actually need to know what their needs are. And to receive intercessory prayer, we need to be a bit vulnerable and share our own needs with others. Next Sunday take a chance lean over to the person next to you and say, “Is there anything I can pray about for you today?”