Sense of Community

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Sense of Community

Because of man's inherent agrarian nature he may need a “Sense of Community”.

  • “Sense of community is a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together (Dr David McMillan, 1976).

In nature people are members of families and those families may form clans through marriage and communities through common interaction. The natural family as a unit may have a head or leader based on age and consanguinity.[1] The head of a family has been called an Elder. In the ancient Latin culture the the ‘power of the father’, patria potestas, was inherent in his personal 'power to command' his family, his imperium.[2]

The family was often compromised by social compacts of contracts transferring allegiance from the head of the family to the head of the community or state. The whole family and the natural liberty of the individuals within the family was compromised by these contracts which could be implied or executed.

Congregations from the view of the Church, established by Christ, are free assemblies of families. The family is represented by the head of the natural family who is often the eldest member of that family still living identified as an Elder. Within the family there is a naturally imposed authority and allegiance upon the membership of the individual under the head of the family. There is also a hierarchy.

To maintain the natural freedom of the individual when families are gathering together one must consider the dangers and pitfalls of obtaining a “Sense of Community”. While gathering in congregations certain priorities and principles should be considered to avoid an unhealthy infringement upon the individual liberty. One does not want to “belong” to a congregation because the act of “belonging” may reduce our natural liberty from an individual to a person.

The Church only wants the individual to belong to a Christ and the Father of creation within the “natural family” and not compromise that sacred institution by granting authority or allegiance to the “fathers of the earth” whether they be civil or ecclesiastical.

While we should have an egalitarian approach toe everyone that position must allow for individual growth and change. How does a congregation of recorded elders develop a “Sense of Community” and remain free?

It has been suggested that there are four factors to the development of a “Sense of Community”:

Four Factors of a Christian community

1. Membership
2. Influence
3. Integration and Fulfillment of Needs
4. Shared Connection

How should a someone who is actually following Christ, seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness develop these four factors within a congregation of Recorded Elders [CORE] to establish a Christian community in accordance with Christ and His purposes since their gatherings are free assemblies?


Membership

The first factor is what they call Membership. A member is “an individual, thing, or organization belonging to a group”. That membership can be further defined as “a constituent piece of a complex structure.” The idea of “belonging” to group or being a “constituent piece” of something bigger takes away the part of the wholeness of the individual. He no longer seen as a mere attendee of a free assembly but becomes cog in a machine with duties and obligation imposed by the whole.

Membership may also simply be the feeling of belonging or of sharing a sense of personal connection. Breaking down the factor labeled memberships some psychologist have identified at least five attributes:

  1. . Boundaries including criteria
  2. . Sense of Security and Safety
  3. . Sense of belonging and identifying
  4. . Personal investment
  5. . Common symbol and system

How would you define these five attributes of "membership" in a Christian community?

Boundaries

Sense of Security and Safety

Sense of belonging and identifying

Personal investment

Common symbol and system

Influence

Integration and Fulfillment of Needs

Shared Connection

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Footnotes

  1. Consanguinity ("blood relation", from the Latin consanguinitas) is the property of being from the same kinship as another person. In that aspect, consanguinity is the quality of being descended from the same ancestor as another person.
  2. Imperium is a Latin word which, in a broad sense, translates roughly as 'power to command'. In ancient Rome, different kinds of power or authority were distinguished by different terms. Imperium referred to the ability of an individual to command the military but originally the military was the militia of the people before the people began compromising their natural rights in social compacts.

About the author

To read more go to "His Holy Church" (HHC) http://www.hisholychurch.org/