Community is one of the most basic and integral terms for followers of Jesus. Community is a word that, rightly understood, speaks of both the earthy and the divine. The Trinitarian community of persons calls us into divine community through the earthiness of human relationships.
One of the main themes of Camp Week 2023 was community and its relation to ministry. Merle Burkholder drew us into the beauty and pain of community through three engaging talks highlighting the crucial role of community in cross-cultural ministry. Whether we are addressing the needs of the poor around us or encountering the challenges of overseas life and work, finding solutions through community is both practically helpful and biblically sound.
It is in community that the solution to humanity’s most basic problems are found. It is through community that we find wholeness and life. As Merle noted, poverty is the lack of shalom in all of its meanings, including financial, relational, and spiritual. To seek long-term solutions to these issues, we must accept diagnosis as a prerequisite to treatment. But no matter the illness, it is through community that healing and wholeness come. Ultimately, the community of God’s people points upward toward its exemplar—the life-giving community of the Trinity.
The Camp Week teaching on community was complemented by the group of like-minded persons brought together by common goals and a common allegiance. Through corporate worship, we celebrated our life in Christ and renewed our allegiance to Him; through stimulating conversations, our devotion to Christ was strengthened and his call on our lives was clarified; through shared meals, we enjoyed together the goodness of God’s material blessings; through sharing stories, the goodness and faithfulness of God evidenced in the lives of others gave us energy and courage to press forward.
—MN, All-Nations field member
Watch "Responding to Poverty with Community," by Merle Burkholder
Watch "Church Planting Teams as Community," by Merle Burkholder
Watch "The Power of a Sending Community," by Merle Burkholder