Why Do We Need Community as Christians?

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Get Out of Your Head" by Jennie Allen. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Why do we need community as Christians? How can being part of a community dramatically improve your mental well-being?

According to the Bible, humans were made for community. The fact that we’re made for community reaches back to the nature of God himself, and also human biology. Understanding why we need community can inspire you to reach out to others and reap the benefits.

Keep reading to find out why we need community as humans.

Why Do We Need Community?

The answer to the question “why do we need community?” is rooted in theology and biology. In this article, we’ll look at two powerful reasons we need community:

The Bible answers why we need community: In a key scripture highlighting the answer is 1 John 1:7: “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

God’s Intrinsic Community: The Trinity

The fact that God made you for community reaches back to the nature of our creator himself. God is intrinsically a community because of his triune nature. The Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exists for all eternity in an internal community of loving relationship. It’s the primal template for human relational needs. We need community because God made us that way.

Through Jesus, God provides community by inviting us into his family. When we’re saved through faith in Christ, we become God’s children, and he becomes our loving father. We receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and we’re adopted into the eternal loving community of the Trinity.

The whole Bible supports the irreducible need for human community. It assumes that those who follow God will live in community with other God followers.

Wired for Community

We can also see God’s design for community in the very workings of our brain. The need for community is neurologically and psychologically hardwired into us.

“Mirror neurons” fire when you interact with others, enabling you to feel what other people are feeling. In other words, our very heart-brains are designed for empathy. This also works negatively, in reverse: Disconnection and isolation alter our brains in negative ways. For instance, severed relationships literally hurt, as feelings of rejection activate the same brain area as physical pain. The popularity and effectiveness of group therapy speaks to this as well, as research shows that such therapy doesn’t just provide emotional comfort; it actually heals.

So, the evidence suggests that the reason we need community is that it’s wired within us.

Why Do We Need Community as Christians?

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Here's what you'll find in our full Get Out of Your Head summary:

  • Satan’s master plan for poisoning your mind with toxic thoughts
  • How to replace ungodly lies with scriptural truths
  • How to “put on the mind of Christ” and fulfill God’s plan for you

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature. Growing up, she enjoyed reading fairy tales, Beatrix Potter stories, and The Wind in the Willows. As of today, her all-time favorite book is Wuthering Heights, with Jane Eyre as a close second. Elizabeth has branched out to non-fiction since graduating and particularly enjoys books relating to mindfulness, self-improvement, history, and philosophy.

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