In the story of creation we repeatedly read the words, “and God saw that it was good.” But there was one thing that God saw that was NOT good. “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone.” (Genesis 2:18)
Paul Tournier, the Christian psychiatrist, calls loneliness, “the most devastating malady of the age.” How sad that even in a large city (and Jerusalem is no exception), thousands of people are lonesome together. Loneliness is the curse of our generation.
God never intended for us to live in isolation. He placed within our very nature the need for community. This most basic human need has not changed. In a Gallup Poll people were asked what were their greatest needs. Here are the top two answers:
- The need to believe that life has a purpose.
- The need for a sense of community.
The origin of the word “community” is the Latin munus, which means gift, and cum, which means together, among each other. So an accurate definition of community is “a group of people, who share their gifts with one another.”
The first Jerusalem believers were truly a community. They shared their gifts – whether spiritual or material.
Every group of believers in any locale ought to be a working model of what God wants to do with the rest of society. The closest thing to such a model was the first community of believers in Jerusalem. Acts 2:44 ff. says “And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met. They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful…” (The MESSAGE version)
Yet, as much as they shared their lives together their community never became ingrown. The opposite occurred. In the words of Acts 2:47, “…People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were being saved.”
For many years we have clearly stated that we are “called to be a compelling, Messiah-centered, Spirit-empowered, disciple-making community.” In fact, since 1990 our Hebrew name has been Kehilat Melech Hamlachim. “Kehilah” means “community.”
A number of months ago we met with our ministry team and deacons. After much prayer and consultation we came to the conclusion that because community is such an essential part of our calling, it should be reflected in our name in English as well.
So welcome to King of Kings Community!