This is a guest post written by Erik Dunkin, our pastor of the saturday night service.
If you were to take a survey today on the topic of community, how would you answer the question: “Are you satisfied with the number and depth of friendships you currently have?” I know for me the answer to that question would be a disappointed, “No”. On the one hand, this answer makes sense. We live in a broken world. Because of our rebellion against God, we have alienated ourselves from him and from one another. No matter how hard we try, and no matter how good of friends we have, we will always retain some sense of loneliness.
But on the other hand, answering “no” to this question should make us very uncomfortable. We are supposed to be the church. We are the redeemed of God. We are those who have been reconciled with God and are day by day being restored to the image of God, seen most clearly in the face of Jesus Christ. And yet we who have been created for friendship cannot seem to figure it out? This should cause us to question the way we are living. If we find ourselves isolated, maybe it is because we have aligned our lives more with culture than with Scripture [Tweet that]. Maybe we have bought into the western individualistic picture of success instead of the Biblical picture of dying to self for the good of others. Maybe we have busied ourselves with tasks and to-do’s in an effort to please the God who is already enamored with us. Or maybe we run ourselves into the ground trying to please people who will never give us the feeling of significance we long for.
God gives you permission to move toward deep friendships. This means he also permits you to set aside whatever is keeping you from authentic community. Realize that if you want to experience community as God intended, you will have to live differently [Tweet that]. You cannot be a “normal” Chicagoan, and expect also to have a Biblical community. It takes a step of faith to abandon cultural norms and move toward others.
If you have not taken that step, I invited you to do so in the coming weeks. Quit a commitment or two. Get some margin in your life so you can engage in natural friendships. If you’re a part of our community here at Park then you’ve already got a good start. Click here to see all the events going on this month or click here to learn more about joining a small group.