“And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:14
Acts 2:42-47 demonstrates the significance of fellowship among the believers in the early church. In fact, there is a slew of Scripture passages that talk about the importance of Christian community:
In the modern church era, it’s not uncommon for congregations to only see each other for an hour or two Sunday morning, and then again during the week for another three hours as a part of a small group. That’s a maximum of five hours per week for community.
Most working professionals labor for at least forty hours a week, making community difficult. However, LA resident, Melissa Gibbons Smith decided to do something about this dilemma. Leveraging her Christian faith background, she founded Epiphany Space, a co-working office space for professionals to build community as they work on creative projects.
Smith doesn’t consider Epiphany Space to be overtly Christian. She says, “I never designed Epiphany to be a Christian Club. We have conversations about God, we pray for one another, but we don’t force our beliefs or perspectives on anybody.”
Bibles can be seen scattered around the open space, and a prayer room, that can also double as a conference center allows people to pray for one another. Epiphany Space allows Christian conversations to excel which may just introduce someone to the gospel.
Rachel understands the essence of community, especially with fellow Christians. in 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul advises the church to “admonish the idle.” It’s not good for Christians to sit around and do nothing. Christians are to stay busy “encouraging the fainthearted, helping the weak, being patient with them all.”
These characteristics of community and how Christians are to relate with one another are obligations, not suggestions. Just as Jesus displayed his love and compassion for humanity, we are to do the same. We can’t accomplish this without biblical community.