Be shepherds of God’s flock. 1 Peter 5:2 (NIV)
An authentic community is gathered by God, not chosen by us. It is not difficult to choose a few friends who are all like-minded and create a small group around a common interest.
There is nothing wrong with that. But authentic community involves more than that. The first community God places us in is called the “family.” None of us gets to choose our family.
We sometimes say, “You choose your friends; you don’t choose your family.” Your family is made up of the people that God has placed around you. They may be wonderful or they may be terrible, but they are the people God has placed next to you.
The way you interact with them will play a significant role in the shaping of your character. Do you run from them? Do you forgive them? Do you hate them? Do you care for them? Do you make allowances for them?
Now it is the same in the church. The church is the family of God. It is a community of people gathered by God, not chosen by us. And the way you relate to the family where God has set you down will play a large part in shaping the person you become.
How have you been relating to your family of origin? How do you think this is shaping your character? How have you been relating to your local church? How do you think this is shaping your character?