It’s counter intuitive, but the richness of our experience in community with fellow believers doesn’t flow from a focus on improving everything that is lacking in that community. Increasing the richness of our community flows from thankfulness over what we’ve actually been given in all of its conflicted realities. In “Life Together” Dietrich Bonhoeffer describes this reality in this way: “Only God knows the real state of our fellowship . . . What may appear weak and trifling to us may be great and glorious to God. Just as the Christian should not be constantly feeling his spiritual pulse, so, too, the Christian community has not been given to us by God for us to be constantly taking its temperature. The more thankfully we daily receive what is given to us, the more surely and steadily will fellowship increase and grow from day to day as God pleases.”
Do you want your faith community to flourish? Stop “taking its temperature” every Sunday and start thanking God for the reality of the community that surrounds you. Then watch what God does.