A Community Mess


The curtains hung half hazard, cups and plates piled high, throw pillows thrown. My hubby wiped the table, I put away leftovers, stepping over a misplaced toy on the kitchen floor, the kids tattled. “Mom, one of the kids said a bad word tonight.”

It was just another night of community group in our home, kids and parents at our table, breaking bread -and apparently wall hangings-together.

No one said it would perfect. This loud, messy gathering of friends filling our house and our hearts. Sure there’s inconvenience and sacrifice involved, but we cannot deny the absolute benefit of doing life with others.

Community is a lot like family, it takes hard work.

Community is just a messy group of dysfunctional people trying to figure this thing out together.

I’m convinced we cannot fulfill God’s unique purpose for our lives without it.

We laugh and commune, hold each other accountable, share the joys and the sorrows. We travel through the mountains and valleys together. Community builds up a treasure chest of shared experiences and the bond grows. Community allows us to set aside our differences.

I don’t know about you, but God didn’t give me a perfect family. We are a bunch of sinners trying to live out the gospel, getting it wrong more than right.

We are weak and wounded, but when He shines through the thin places, He is most effective in us and through us.

It’s the same with community.

As you live in close contact with me, the light of my presence filters through you to bless others. Your weakness and woundedness are the openings through which the Light of the knowledge of my Glory shines forth. My strength and power show themselves most effective in your weakness.” Jesus Calling

We often make community about us. What can this give me? What empty place will this fill? And while the rewards are there, the end goal of search for community is not how community will help us, but how community will benefit the world.

Jesus had the most rag-tag small group ever – complaining, fighting, betrayal. But He stuck with them, and they changed the world.” -Jason Johnson

For His glory.

We need community. Community needs us. “Community is not a luxury but a necessity for life. People need to be involved in meaningful and constant community or they will continue on indefinitely in a state of intense loneliness.” -Randy Frazee

How are you pursing community today? Can I urge you to push past the mess that comes with dysfunction and pursue life together with others?

Because we cannot live without it.


Written by Kristen Welch, We are THAT family

  • Andrea

    This made me smile this morning! Thank you! I am leaving my small community of love And dysfunction soon and have been overwhelmed and sad feeling. But reading this made me realize I will need to seek out community in our new home. Thank you!!!!!

  • http://3acresofsonshine.blogspot.com steph

    I am working on it. 10 months after the move. But what I realized this week was I was trying so hard to recreate old town community here. Old town community seemed so perfect from this view. I totally forgot it was messy too. I have neglected some connections in new town simply hecause they were not perfect fit for me…sigh…maybe God meant us to be good messy fit for them. Thank you for the perspective shift!!

  • Lisa

    The temptation, always, is to surround ourselves with people who”get” us, whom we are comfortable with – who, as you say, serve US in some way. Being an introvert, this is my default position. I am so thankful for my husband, whose extravagant love for others has pushed me into some uncomfortable places with the marginal people that are drawn to the light shining in the Church but too often, find themselves on the outside looking in. Over and over I have been forced me to examine what it means to “love” someone. And my life has been far, far richer for it.
    Thank you, Kristen! Good food for thought!

  • http://hamershappenings.blogspot.com Lisa

    Community is a wonderful way to hold us accountable. As loving friends and family, we are looking after each other.

  • http://www.OurStoriesGodsGlory.blogspot.com Elise Daly Parker

    So true…community can be messy, hard. But it is always worth it to push through. The bond grows so much deeper.

  • Beth WIlliams

    Community is just a messy group of dysfunctional people trying to figure this thing out together. How very true! We are all just dysfunctional people trying to do our best to be good Christians in this sinful world!

    I do community with women’s Bible study at church. I get to know each one on a deep, personal level and pray for them all! I find it worthwhile to have good friends to talk to about life!

  • Barb Kennedy

    thank you for sharing you are a God sent. I have many hang ups and have been always on the side that thinks its about what I can get from it. I am the one in the Bible that can easily take the speck out of someones life but I can’t see the beam in mine.. I have been praying for change in my life to grow not be easily hurt. Stop holding unto faults of others. Thanks for enlighting how I can really have a new outlook on people

  • http://www.writemomentswithgod.blogspot.com Rose Chandler Johnson

    Kristen, this is so relevant, real, essential. We can’t “forsake the assembling of ourselves together” even if there will be sticky crumbs to navigate. Blessings to you and yours as you practice your faith and remind us to do the same.

  • http://www.godly-wifey.blogspot.com regina cozad

    Love this post!!! Community is very important.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Regina above: Participation in a community is important. It holds me accountable, I have opportunity to practice my faith, and I can grow and be encouraged by the ministry of others. Someone has said that our brothers and sisters in Christ are “Jesus with skin on!” That’s what community is: the ministry of Jesus lived out with each other and for each other. Thank you for the encouragement to participate, Kristen, even when it gets a bit messy!

  • Eileen

    I enjoyed your article. Just want to tell you that the phrase you use in your opening sentence should be “haphazard”.