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The Community vs. The Church: Can Community exists within the Church?

Updated on May 26, 2012

The Compromise

Why is it critical for the churches to engage in assisting our community to move to the other side of the Jordan? In other words why is it important to blow the trumpet to Zion? Why is it important to assist each other? My answer is in a three worded Zulu proverb. “Unmuntu Ngumuntu Ngabuntu- Zulu proverb which literally means that a person is a person through other persons; a person’s humanity can only be meaningfully expressed through relationships with other human beings.

An individual’s humanity cannot be fully capacitated, highly developed or flourishing in the absence of community or an organic network of interdependencies involving mutually respectful, harmonious and supportive interrelationships with other human beings. This proverb is representative of the profound wisdom and underlying communal values of traditional African cultures. This perspective stresses the importance of developing balanced, wholesome relationships among families and communities.”

This proverb for me surmises the dilemmas in my context as well as the dilemmas in the some churches. For me I would say the people are blowing the trumpet for help, but Zion is asleep. Or Zion misinterprets their role or reaction for coming to the aid. Or is Zion locked in the four walls of the church and will not even conceive of coming out.

It’s safe, familiar, and very satisfying. When you become this comfortable you miss the mutuality of the having shared roles and shared power between the church and the community. You will not understand the value of each party or person. The problem I identified in my context is the inhibited ability to truly express the emotions and issues therefore suppressing them to no avail.

The issues of expression in the community have lead to things such as an uprising of mental illnesses, depression, physical illnesses, autism, and debilitating issues in both mother, children, and the family unit. There also seems to be a lack of identity enrichment. There seems to be no cultural connection. So in order to literally kill two birds with one stone, I want to utilize the arts as way of building a bridge for community, communication, expression, empowerment, identity, and healing. Music and drama are excellent ways of expression as well as intertwining them with cognitive therapy.

You are literally giving them in cognitive therapy ways of breathing to overcome emotion. It reminds me of Ezekiel and the dry bones and breathing on them the breath of life. So in cognitive therapy intertwined with Pastoral Care you are literally trying to calm yourself to get clear perspective or momentary escape. Also in creating imagery that can take one from of darkness to a place of peace.

Also using drama to create a safe environment to be, express, listen, and work through. The Church needs the community because it is the context by which they live. It is the schools, the crime, the promise, the setbacks, the populace. The community needs the church as well, they both can create great platforms for one another to express and for change to occur.

They community is often the silence voice or the missing ingredients to enrich Sunday, Saturday, or Wednesday night discussion. They provide a unique point of view and sometime are in the know about certain things that the church may not be privy to. The Church is also of value to the community, because they can also contain the know how and because they are usually attached to some denominational structure, the funds or the know through various partnerships with other denominations and groups cause a serious change in the climate that exists between the church and the community.

They would definitely work better together than apart. The proverb would show them the value in each other and how much more effective they would be together instead of apart. As Howard Thurman would say, meet each other where they are, the relationship might not be the best, but if both parties are willing to do with work, what a great impact they would have. The bottom line is we need them and they need us. Each member is equally as important. Let's change the definition of community and include a community, where we have a mutual giving and sharing, it's not that we are going to be this perfect society, but we will respect our difference and find solutions that satisfy both groups.

The Great Divide Amongst Kids

What do you think?

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    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 6 years ago from Tasmania

      I shudder!

    • Elijah7 profile image

      Elijah7 6 years ago from Israel - England - Hong Kong - Hawaii - Paradise

      Gullible ??? Excuse me Johnny (Brittvan sister - hope you don't object to all this) Gullible ????

      Please man, take a LONG CLOSE LOOK at what YOU have been CONNED into believing is "true"...

      Herein Below IS The Last Word on this Issue Johnny...suggest you read this carefully ... NOTHING ELSE TO SAY TO YOU - Bye bye ...

      † Romans 1 : 20 - 23 †

      "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."

      "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things."

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 6 years ago from Tasmania

      Yes, yes, you have it all. So much knowledge. I would not bother to argue with you or to watch your video.

      The world has so many people like you, who are exercising their ego and trying to woo others with your convictions.

      I will have nothing of it. Go try it on someone more gullible.

    • Elijah7 profile image

      Elijah7 6 years ago from Israel - England - Hong Kong - Hawaii - Paradise

      So you WATCHED the Video THEN Johnny ??

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 6 years ago from Tasmania

      Enjoy your ego trip, "Elijah." Don't waste your time. I reject you and all your high-sounding rubbish. I don't see any makings of good, sound, loving, all-embracing community there. You have your own agenda... I will not buy into it.

    • Elijah7 profile image

      Elijah7 6 years ago from Israel - England - Hong Kong - Hawaii - Paradise

      WRONG Johnny - VERY WRONG.

      Looks like you will find out THE HARD WAY..."We" are very sorry for this.

      We WILL Pray for YOU.

      You have NO idea what is in store for you BECAUSE of what you just wrote...

      Truly man, you should seriously consider watching this Video - A REAL LIFE TRUE STORY / TESTIMONY :-

      † Jude 1 : 1 - 4 †

      "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 6 years ago from Tasmania

      No thank you.... no such after-life, no such judgement by any such supernatural being. You are fooling yourself, and trying to fool others into thinking as you do.

      You are entitled to continue thinking as you think... but the evangelism is a lie.

    • Elijah7 profile image

      Elijah7 6 years ago from Israel - England - Hong Kong - Hawaii - Paradise

      Hi Johnny - How are you? The Church of this earth is HARDLY a "narrowly select community". Methinks you may have been badly hurt by some "false" Christian(s) in times past.

      Never Judge JESUS and Holy Scripture by looking at "people".

      ALL True Christians are simply sinners SAVED By Grace from The Wrath to Come. The only real difference between you and i Johnny is that your sin still REMAINS....

      i love EVERYONE - Amen - DON'T love many of the things certain "sinners" say and do however, and that's a FACT - and i KNOW how to Rightly Divide these Two Keys.

      Truth is man, i NEVER tire of Truly Godly people's company..AND, have many great friends worldwide that have YET to "Go Under The Waters and Up Into The New Life..."

      You need to get out more....ARISE AND SHINE.....You are MISSING OUT On The Truly SPECTACULAR....

      Take a look at these WORDS below - and then the Music Links afterwards are a Gift from me to you (and anyone) in The True Love of God - Amen †

      † 1 Peter 4 : 1 - 5 †

      "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

      For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

      Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead."

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 6 years ago from Tasmania

      Elijah7 if you could live in such a narrowly selected community, then you are free to do so. When you get tired of such a godly group then look outside at a few sinners.... they might enhance your life.

    • Elijah7 profile image

      Elijah7 6 years ago from Israel - England - Hong Kong - Hawaii - Paradise

      Very nice article sister....The root of the issues in the non-Christian Community is the same all over the globe, The Presence of The Holy Spirit Convicts people of their sin.

      They then have two choices Repent and Believe and Join The Church or falsely accuse and attack Christian Ministers (because they misunderstand The Conviction)...Sadly, it is also very true that many so called "Christian ministers" DESERVE to be attacked for the disgrace they have brought upon The Church - the world may be Lost but it is not "stupid"...

      The non-Christian Community IS looking for Answers, but in ALL the wrong places, hence your observations of the plethora of social maladies striking every corner of Christendom society.

      The Greatest Act of Love ANY True Christian can show, to a Lost soul that is opposing themselves and their Maker, Rests in One Question :

      "Can i Pray for you?"

      Regularly, such a recipient of that Question will oftentimes agree with Hope & Gladness...

      THEN, The Door Opens For The Supernatural Living God to Prove Himself In JESUS for that individual...

      "Let US Pray"....Amen & Amen †

      † 1 Thessalonians 5 : 17 †

      "Pray without ceasing."

    • Treasuresofheaven profile image

      Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

      Both Church and Community must come together and work together to understand their needs. The arts is certainly a bridge - it works everytime. This a day and time of visual expression.

      I am glad to say that my church embraces the community. I think overall, we are doing better as a people to come together. Interesting work.

    • brittvan22 profile image

      brittvan22 6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      @ John, I am inclined to agree with you from my observation of some. What I have found in some pulpits is that @Lemme, I would agree.

    • lemmyC profile image

      Ben 6 years ago from UK

      Great introspection. The church is the salt and light to the community. Love (agape) should characterize our relationship with those within and those without.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 6 years ago from Tasmania

      Brittvan, good hub. As a non-christian I would see three words as being at the root of it.... Holier than thou.

    • brittvan22 profile image

      brittvan22 6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      @ Blossom, that is very true. In most metropolis areas, more often then not the congregants have on average commuted anywhere frm 10 to 35 minutes to their church. They don't interact within the community for them, they are Sunday and maybe Wednesday participants. I witnessed something that is a great example of what you are saying in a Baptist Church, where they only reached out to feed the community on Saturdays (which is not a bad thing), but as far as any other interaction, there was none. When they had bible studies there was maybe 10 people in the building and least 30 outside less than 10 steps from the church and no one thought to invite them. I asked, why not. They said the people probably weren't interested. Then carried on a bible study that condemned their uninvited guests and uplifted themselves. Maybe 2 weeks later their church was robbed and the community they condemned was not talking. They couldn't understand, (with the exception of one elder)why I told them they were acting as the Pharisees. Both need each other to be effective and agents of change. Thanks for your input!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      An interesting hub. I feel that no church is a true church if it is only a community within itself. The members live in the local community and they should be part of that and participate in it as well. Jesus did not just stay in the synagogue or temple, he joined in community activities.


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