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July 5, 2024


Community isn’t an easy thing. Not real, authentic, life-giving community, anyway. At White Oak, we feel it’s critical to our spiritual maturity and development in Christlikeness. Community is a core value here. Together, we are more. 


We’re talking about unity in love. In Acts 2, we see a picture of Jesus-followers coming together, unified in their love for one another and in the love they shared with Jesus.  


42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. 


All the believers were together… The picture in Acts 2 is not a perfect faith community but it is one driven by love. You may notice that our other core values at White Oak are lived out in this short passage: Generosity (v.45), Authenticity (v.42), Fun (v.46), and Multiplication (v.47). Community provides the infrastructure and drive for the others. Sadly, many followers of Jesus will settle for a sense of community rather than the active, breathing, transformational real thing.  


One way in which we do this is to assume church attendance equates to community. While this is an important part of community-building, it is a poor substitute. Transformational community means that we are known by others and that we know others in such ways that each other’s lives are changed more into the image of Christ because we rubbed shoulders. This kind of change doesn’t come from participating in a worship service. It comes from conversation intent on listening, vulnerability, mutual prayer, and sharing in one another’s blessings and pains.  


Another way we settle for a false sense of Christian community is to believe that any group of friends we spend time with meets that need. But it doesn’t. You’ll notice Acts 2 paints a specific picture of Christ-centered transformational community. Prayer, learning from God’s Word, working together in acts of service and care for others, and, of course, sharing good food and fun with one another. All these things were BECAUSE of their joy in Christ and for the purpose of HIS mission and glory. We need a community of people who are, together, becoming more like Jesus because we are together.  


We often settle for a distant version of Christ-formed community by believing that community exists for our benefit. Many Christians will find a group of friends or jump into a Life Group or Bible study group because of what we get from it. We like the people, we have fun with them, they are similar to us, we like the convenience, comfort, we like the study, and the coffee. Whatever it is. In contrast to many of our experiences and desires, Acts 2 shows the scene of followers of Jesus entering authentic, life-sharing, transformational community for the sake of OTHERS. We weren’t just created for community… we were created to create community. There are hundreds of people at White Oak alone who need the community that you can bring to the table. You can lead them. You can create spaces for them to enter into life-giving community.  


It won’t be long before White Oak will enter a season later this summer where we will offer Life Groups and encourage discipleship with smaller groups of people coming together for Christ-formed community. My guess is that we all have some praying and considering to do as to how we will be community-builders in Jesus’s Kingdom.  


At White Oak, we will live as a community of believers coming together to do life with one another and to accomplish more for God’s glory together than what’s possible alone. And, in doing that, draw others to Jesus.  


Building community, 




Nathan Hinkle

Lead Pastor

White Oak Christian Church


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