1. God told you to.
Knowing that God has led you to this kind of life and these particular people is the most compelling reason to live in community. Following the leading of God is the most joyous thing we could ever do. Trust and obey, for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Every Christian is called to be a part of God’s community, the Church, but not everyone is called to live in intentional Christian community. For various reasons, it may not be appropriate or the right time for you to live in intentional Christian community. But it is always the right time to be united to God’s people in sincere, committed relationships no matter in what circumstances you find yourself.
2. To live out the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus introduced a new kingdom of healing, love and mutual liability. Intentional community allows us to walk out the “Good News” today. The world is watching to see if the Christian message can really be lived out (John 17:21).
3. Meaningful relationships can be developed.
Taking liability for one another has a way of building intimacy and creating relationships that matter. Fellowship = Two men in the same boat – “Fellow Ship” (Keith Green).
4. Great potential for personal growth in God.
As Larry Crabb said, “I can think of nothing more important for spiritual growth than good relationships in the Body of Christ.” (Inside Out, p. 165) We need God’s people to know us, love us and speak into our lives. Intentional community provides the environment for the real us to be known, the commitment to be secure and the proximity for sustained input.
5. A wonderful environment for children.
Children love community. Intentional community provides a pool of friends from families that share the same values, older brothers and sisters to look up to, aunts and uncles who love them and grandmas and grandpas who are around every day. The talents and character that a parent may lack is made up for by others in community. Children are exposed to a variety of perspectives, skills and interests that enrich their lives in ways that would never happen living outside community.
6. A richer and fuller life.
New hobbies, new ideas, new perspectives, new laughter, new purpose, new experiences, new resources, new vision, and new friends. Learning opportunities, serving opportunities, worship opportunities, growth opportunities, teaching opportunities, and relationship opportunities. You’ll never be the same.
7. Christian values reinforced.
We live in a culture drenched in values that are opposed to Christianity. Intentional Christian community strengthens and affirms Christian values, and surrounds us with living examples of how to practically apply those values in daily life.
8. Many practical opportunities to serve others.
All around you in Christian community are plenty of chances to bring Christ to others. Making meals for those who are sick, babysitting so parents can go out together, hanging curtains for the mechanically challenged, building hand-made furniture for one another, fixing shared vehicles, cleaning the home of new mothers, and so many other ways to serve. Also, we can join our resources together to meet the needs of the poor and needy around us and even for those in distant lands.
9. Provision for tackling the challenges of life.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15). A shoulder to cry on, medical advice, child-training tips, computer know-how, spiritual counseling, fellow bargain hunting, wedding planning, funeral planning, vacation planning, financial planning, conflict resolution, child education, adult education, lawn cutting, leaf raking, house painting…whew, and I probably left out 1,000 more things.
10. Preparation for heaven.
Get used to it. Heaven is an intentional Christian community (Rev. 21:1-4).