Can We REALLY Have Community Online?

Facebook, Myspace, online church.  All ways to connect with people.  And each of them claim to be a virtual “community.”  But is that really “Community” like the Bible talks about?  I don’t think it can happen only through online mediums despite our best attempts and despite emerging ministries designed to do just that by some large churches that I admire.

COMMUNITY is a massive buzzword these days.  So much so that it has almost lost its meaning.  Community is a group of people to whom you give yourself.  That means that they really know you and you really know them.  Any group of people who can give and receive like that, in love and submission, is a true community.  Can that be done only by connecting with people online?  Again, I don’t think so.  Online “communities” can supplement REAL community but not replace it.

Being in community entails being consistently in tactile, real-world situations where we can learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses while having genuine fun.  The Bible is full of community and stories of people being dependent on each other, including Jesus Himself.  For me, the place that most consistently does this is the local church, and specifically a particular small group that I’m a part of.  It’s in this particular small group that I am most known.  It’s where ALL of us can share victories and defeats together.

Where do you truly find community?

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