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A Person is a Person because of People

Posted by Colby Kinser on

At a recent conference I attended, one of the speakers (Brad Wos) said in a breakout session, "A person is a person because of people."

His point is that our personhood is necessarily defined in terms of being a member of a community ... a "people." A person does not have full personhood apart from other people. We are relational by nature, and who we are has a lot to do with how we relate to others. The "people" idea includes large-scale, like a tribe or nation, and small-scale, like a family or small group, and everything in between.

On a related note, I recently read something in a book called Loving from the Heart Jesus Gave You that makes the same basic point. The authors said that the church community provides for each other what is necessary for us to mature.

The authors are psychologists and therapists with a Christian worldview, and as they describe how loving one another is part of emotional maturity, they draw the conclusion that God's idea of Christian community is equipped with what's necessary for us to be mature - both emotionally mature and mature in Christ.

Both statements reach the same basic point - the fullness of walking with Christ is inseparable from a loving, authentic Christian community. We are less than fully human and less than fully mature if we aren't in vital community with other believers.

If you are not in some kind of small group or other authentic Christian small community, I believe it's vital, not just helpful. I'm deeply grateful for those we're in small group with, present and past. If you want a hand in developing Christian community, let's talk.

My most important work is not standing on a platform teaching. It's working with you for your spiritual growth. Let's do more of that.

Tags: community, growth, maturity, mature, people, person