I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about community. It started when Dr. John Oberdeck was a guest preacher for me a couple of weeks ago. After the service, we both walked down the aisle, stood at the back, and greeted those who were filing out of church. Suddenly there was a gap in the line. We both looked back into the church and John said to me, “Now that’s community!”
We had to wait a while before we were able to greet the rest of the congregation. There they were, spread out all around the church in delightful small groups (not cliques!), talking to each other, hugging, laughing, listening, greeting, caring, and catching up. We were happy to wait.
As I looked at that beautiful scene, I was proud of the way Mt. Calvary cares. I was thankful for the way Mt. Calvary welcomes. I was awed by the way Mt. Calvary embraces diversity. People have told me they feel welcome at our church. I’m glad, because it’s something we intentionally build into our culture, and is something that no church ought to be without.
We’ve got a great start, but there’s still plenty of room to grow.
St. Paul compares the church with a body. In Latin, as you know, the word for body is corpus. We would love more people to enjoy the corpus at Mt. Calvary, so we are encouraging current members to use new and different ways to share the Word and draw people in. I’m calling it Corpus Electronici.
I have been amazed at the way in which Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and other electronic media have brought me back into community with some, into new community with others, and make me encouraged that the corpus of Christ will be built up by these tools that are literally changing the world.
Here’s how Electronci has helped me:
- I have reconnected with people from my class in high school whom I literally haven’t seen since we walked the stage at graduation.
- I have been brought back into close contact with my cousins and other distant and not-so-distant family members; and our respective kids are getting to know each other, as well.
- I have been able to learn much more about the Facebooker’s in my congregation, enabling me to serve them better and be a more astute preacher.
- I follow people on Twitter that inspire me, encourage me, make me think, enhance my creativity, give me ideas, and give me new insights into the Word.
- I have learned about things going on in the classrooms of our day school which I would have otherwise never known.
- I have discovered blogs that have strengthened my faith, made me laugh, and got me to do some things I may have never tried.
The best thing about all of this is that, contrary to popular belief, this isn’t only relating to people in front of a screen. All of these tools have led to face to face, in the flesh, connecting, re-connecting, lunches, dinners, and conferences that have shown me personally the way in which electronici often leads to true corpus.
Now…to encourage the people of Mt. Calvary, and other churches, that these really are incredible tools in which God’s Word and relationships with others lead to community in Christ.
Have you discovered ways in which the Corpus Electronici has brought you into new or better relationships with others? Please let me know how. I’d love to share your ideas.