From the beginning of our creation, we see healthy community at work. When God created us, He said “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26). God lives in community as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And when He created us, He realized, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18).
We were not created to be alone. We were created to belong. Therefore, there are several reasons why being a part of a healthy community is important.
1. Healthy community fulfills our need to belong.
Just like food and shelter, a sense of belonging is a basic and important human need. According to an article in Psychology Today, feeling that you belong is most important in seeing value in life and in coping with painful emotions.
When we cannot find a healthy community to which we can belong, sometimes, we choose to belong to a destructive group. That’s visible in gang members and cult groups. We see children in school participating in several dangerous and illegal activities due to peer pressure. When they give into peer pressure, children feel accepted and a sense of belonging.
To avoid trying to be accepted for the wrong reasons or in the wrong group, we need to find a healthy community of which we can become a part.
2. Healthy community can transform our lives.
Research shows that a sense of belonging to a greater community improves your motivation, health, and happiness. It brings us connection and new friends and develops our social and relationship skills. According to a study at Western Connecticut State University, feeling connected also increases our self-confidence and helps us combat depression and stay physically active.
3. Healthy community can help us experience happiness.
According to Happiness and Your Health, developing and maintaining open, trusting, and authentic relationships are essential to living a happy life. People who connect with others in deep, meaningful ways and who are emotionally generous feel less stressed and are happier in general.
Being in a community helps us feel more supported, but we also experience higher levels of happiness when we give support, too. So, we need people that are willing to invest in us and people that we are willing to invest in to find our happy place.
What a Healthy Community Looks Like
Now, we know why we should be a part of a healthy community. But how do we measure the health of a community? What does a healthy community looks like?
For a healthy community to develop within churches, we have to start with healthy teachings. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are to bring hope and opportunity to the poor and marginalized of our community. We are called to love one another, share the work, and minister to one another. We ought to be open for others to come and feel welcomed. We have to be diverse to reach out to people in every circumstance of life.
If you are looking to be a part of a healthy community, check out our LifeGroup Locator and find one that best fits you! LifeGroups are designed for you to come as you are, experience transformation, and make a difference with others.