Sarah McCarron on How to Live in a Church Community That Has Disappointed You

In our society, we talk about a lot about community. Ever since the nineties, when the hit TV show “Friends” told us that they would be there for us, our culture has sought to create friendship groups that are like family. We’ve created new words to describe this concept. The Macmillian dictionary says that, “Framily is a new social group underpinned by the principle that good friends are the family that we can choose for ourselves”.

And this notion of framily is especially apparent in the Church. We call each other brothers and sisters. We refer to mentors as our spiritual mothers and fathers. We are taught that we should partake in a small group and not just attend on a Sunday so that we can truly build community. We are told to look after one another, and like the theme song from Friends, tell others that, “I’ll be there for you.”

And framily sounds so appealing. So many of us have strained family relationships, whilst others are living far away from their loved-ones. So the concept of cultivating our own family, of choosing our own support system, sounds wonderful.

However, life rarely looks like this. There are disappointments, there are fallouts, and there are conflicts. Because we live in a world that is far from perfect, people fail us and we fail them. We are pushed away or others misunderstand us. We expect people to be there for us and when they are not, we can be destroyed.

The thing is, Jesus knows this feeling all too well. We think that the only let down He encountered was when Judas betrayed him for thirty pieces of silver, but I think there was another let down that hurt just as much.

Source: Relevant Magazine