I’ve been thinking about what makes a healthy Christian community, as I prepare to give the talk at our Youth service this week. We’re looking at the theme of “no needs’ – about how the first century Christians, Gen A if you like, met each others’ needs by sharing everything they had.

I think we need to share our very selves, to be a really transformative community. All our struggles, all our joys, as we share them, we give others an opportunity to share with us. Practical needs can be met, pastoral needs, and the need for deep connectedness that so much of modern life is lacking. It is said that if one is hurting then we are all hurting. Surely these days with so many ways of communicating with each other, it must be easier than ever to pass information around – who is sick, who needs prayer, who needs help, who is thanking God. But modern PC life can get in the way – privacy issues cloud the real need to get deep with each other, to intermingle our lives, like those tight-knit communities that only seem to exist on Eastenders. A Christian community that really connects together must surely be a blessing, not only to those directly in it, but to everyone they encounter, whether family members, workmates, school friends etc.

The first generation shared everything. May we share everything too – joys, struggles, needs, and offer it all up to our loving Lord, who in spite of recent newspaper publicity does indeed care about the small stuff, like parking places! (I’ll put the picture up tomorrow!)

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