Community Within Community

Monday, March 19, 2012 Posted by Anitra Elmore

Pin It

imageWe attend an amazing church. I love the glimpse I get of “every tribe, every tongue, every nation” each time I’m there. This is by far the most diverse community of believers I’ve ever joined in worship--in ethnicity, in age, economic background and denominational roots. It’s a wonderful place to call home for folks who can handle living with a big family. It’s not, however a place where everybody knows your name.

While that works for me, I’ve met plenty of people who’d find it overwhelming. These people might assume that they’d get lost in a church this size. How will they connect? How will they feel like they belong? I totally get it. One of the things we look for in a church is a sense of belonging, and at first glance, large churches might not seem to offer that. The large churches that “get it,” however,  know the power of community within community. These are the churches where small groups abound, and in these churches, those small groups hold the key to making community happen.

Recently, my husband and I had the ridiculous honor of being interviewed by our senior pastor in front of our congregation. We opened ourselves up to the larger group to share how “doing life” with our small group helped bring healing and restoration to our battle-weary lives. As we talked, we realized that the people we’ve met in our small groups have become the people we play with, pray with, cry with and spend time with, just about everyday. It’s those smaller chunks of community that have made us feel like we belong in the community at large. Those people we engage outside the walls of the church have made our time within the church all the more meaningful.

I hope you’re experiencing that and discovering the power within “the smaller chunks” (where everybody does know your name and they’re always glad you came).  The community within the community might turn out to be the lifeline you need. It definitely was for us, and we couldn’t be more grateful.


imageAnitra Elmore is your server today! Find out more about her here and don't forget to sign up for updates by email or RSS before you go.