God exists forever in perfect Triune community and remarkably, we are invited to join (John 17:20-23). This is the vision of Christian community: to be one with another and one with God. And to invite our neighbors in too! When we look to the ministry of Jesus, we see him constantly creating meaningful social connections, ever-widening the circle of welcome to those who had been rejected and discarded. Hidden throughout the footnotes of church history we see ordinary people following his lead, creating small Christian communities that reflect a future vision of the coming kingdom—a foretaste of what is to come. Today, we are experiencing loneliness in epidemic proportions. The church

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must once again turn our gaze towards the development of beloved community. It is time for churches to shift their energy from populating their preconceived programs to building communities.

Faithful Community is curated by Luke S. Edwards. Luke Edwards is the Associate Director of Church Development for the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and a trainer for Fresh Expressions US. He is an Elder in Full Connection in the United Methodist Church. He was the founding pastor of King Street Church, a network of fresh expressions in Boone, North Carolina. He grew up in an area of western Massachusetts that was recently named the most post-Christian metropolitan area in the United States, where he joined his first micro-faith community at the age of fourteen. Between his upbringing and his work in local, regional, and national levels of the Fresh Expressions movement, Luke has a unique perspective into how creating micro-communities can offer a path for the future of the church in a post-Christian society. He lives in Huntersville, North Carolina, where he enjoys going for walks in the woods with his wife and daughter. His blog and podcast can be found at www.faithfulcommunity.com.

Hear Luke's story on A New Thing Podcast or read about it on Asbury Voices.

Read about Fresh Expressions and Luke's work in NC in Christianity Today or hear about it on the United Methodist Church's Field Preachers Podcast

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Email: luke@faithfulcommunity.com

Social Media: @lukesedwards

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