Summary: Kingdom community is the soil in which discipleship should take place. Because we live in an individualistic culture, it’s hard to find Kingdom community. But if we catch the vision for how we are meant to live collectively, we can be instruments that bring back a Kingdom community way of life to our culture.
Where spiritual formation happens
There’s lots of talk these days about discipleship and spiritual formation. But regrettably, there’s little talk about the context in which discipleship and spiritual formation is made possible – Kingdom community.
We’ve got access to more sermons and other training materials than ever before in the history of the world. Yet it seems we still struggle to find true spiritual maturity. This is because true Kingdom community is hard to find, even among churches where one might think it would be most vibrant.
A major reason for its absence is our culture’s ingrained individualistic mindset. I’ve addressed this with a few posts in the past, but now I’d like to dig deeper.
People grow together or not at all
Individualism is perhaps most clearly seen when it comes to the issue of conflict. Instead of seeing relational conflict as an opportunity to go through the biblical process of dying and growing, individualistic cultures see it as an undesirable experience from which we should remove ourselves as quickly as possible. The problem is – when you leave you don’t die, and when you don’t die, you don’t grow. That’s right, conflict is the hammer and nails in the Father’s hand to put you on the cross.
Those relationships that bring conflict? They’re tools of redemption designed for your long-term well-being. When it comes down to it, people grow together…or not at all. Those that stay together and work through conflict grow. Those that don’t, won’t.