What does "community" actually mean?

We hear the word “community” a lot, especially around church. But what is it, really? 

We have relationships all around us. We’re meant for connection with God and with other people.

The closest friends, the most supportive family members, the people who understand you when no one else seems to—that’s the essence of being in community. Those are the kind of connections NewSpring Groups are all about.

The point of community isn’t just to connect; it’s to move forward together.

Real community isn’t just based on proximity but on purpose. The point of community isn’t just to connect; it’s to move forward together. The best friendships are the ones that help each other take a step closer to Jesus.

Four Benefits of Being in Community

1. You are known.

Friends know you: your fears, hopes, struggles, values, weaknesses, and strengths. Every one of us should be known and valued for who we are because we are each known by God and valuable to Him (Psalm 139:13-16).
 
You can help your friends grow more comfortable and share more of yourselves with each other. Your willingness to share your heart, struggles, victories, and honest thoughts will encourage them to follow your example. The more transparent you are, the more potential that relationship has to grow.

2. You trust and are trusted.

Trust is like oxygen to the life of your relationships. An atmosphere lacking trust will choke your momentum and can cause friendships to fizzle out. On the other hand, an atmosphere thick with trust helps foster amazing experiences and conversations that help you and your friends take your next steps in your walks with Jesus.

Because Jesus is trustworthy to us, we strive to be trustworthy to others (Psalm 31:14-15). We can instill confidence in our friends by helping them focus their trust in God (Proverbs 3:5, Psalm 56:3-4). Trust paves the way for more next steps together.

3. You love sincerely.

We learn how to love by looking at Jesus. He gave up something (His life) so we can be given something (eternal life). He shows us that love is looking out for the wellbeing of another person, no matter the cost­—and that’s what we can do for the friends closest to us (Philippians 2:3-8).

God sent Jesus to pay for our sins, not because of our great love for God, but because of His great love for us (1 John 4:19). And because of God’s love for us, we have the ability to love each other (1 John 4:11).

4. You invest in each other.

The best friendships don’t exist in a vacuum. Relationships grow stronger as two or more people walk together through more experiences. Next steps are a conversation, not a one-time event.

Jesus helped His friends take their next steps. They were fishermen when He found them, but through their time and relationship with Jesus, they were changed forever. Jesus saw their potential to be leaders of the church someday (Luke 5:1-11).

Sometimes our friends will lovingly correct us, and other times we will lovingly correct them. No matter who helps whom, we’re all taking next steps together, and that is what the best friendships are all about.

Related Content

to Discover More

Article

Why “How Are You?” Is Not the Best Question to Ask

community relationships friendship grief

“How are you?” That question hangs there in the air waiting. There’s a decision to be made... read more

Read Article

Article

Are you a fake friend? Here's what you can change

community relationships friendship

We know a lot of people. Some people we really enjoy being around, but others make us want to ditch our groce... read more

Read Article

Article

How to give good advice

community relationships bible prayer friendship

When a fellow believer is struggling with their in-laws, navigating a difficult work situation, or when I enc... read more

Read Article

Article

Four ways to go from friendly to real friends

community relationships friendship

I was a mess when our family of six moved from my hometown in Minnesota to South Carolina.  I struggled ... read more

Read Article

Sermon

Connect

From Clarity

community relationships friendship groups

When we look at the lives of early Christians, there’s a consistent pattern: connect to Jesus, then to ... read more

Watch Sermon

Sermon

Turn Up - Week 5

From Turn Up

community relationships friendship

When God made man, He knit a love of relationship into man's heart. Join us as we discuss how community s... read more

Watch Sermon

Sermon

Brothers and Sisters

From Family Matters

community relationships friendship

Everyone needs friends that will stick with you no matter what.

Watch Sermon

Sermon

Who Should I Hang Out With?

From Tensions

community relationships friendship

Tensions are necessities fighting for prominence in a Christian’s life, and the win is found in how we ... read more

Watch Sermon

Sermon

The Razor's Edge

From The Razor's Edge

community relationships compassion friendship

Jesus walked the Razor's Edge between having compassion on the crowds and also "the one" that was far awa... read more

Watch Sermon

Sermon

Ambassadors

From Strings

family community relationships friendship

God has entrusted to us the ministry of reconciling people to him, and has empowered us with the authority an... read more

Watch Sermon

Story

How a football star shined in the darkness

family evangelism community relationships friendship grief

High school standout Jacory Benson racked up yards and acclaim, but his no ordinary family changed the game.

Read Story

Sermon

How to Stay Activated

From Activated

community church relationships following jesus

Do you have a "they"? In this message, our Anderson Campus Pastor, Riley Cummings, shares what it looks like... read more

Watch Sermon

Subscribe

Subscribe to the articles feed to be notified when new content is published.