“Fish need water. People need community. We must journey together. James Houston defines discipleship as the mystery of two people walking together. He goes on to say: “There is no such thing as my maturity; it is always our maturity.” What should be vital in church life has become incidental. Consequently, people are dying in their spiritual walk because they’re living outside the environment in which God designed them to live. There’s no such thing as a self‑made Christian, and there’s no such thing as a self‑maintained Christian. You can’t encourage someone in isolation, nor can you show care and concern in isolation. And you certainly can’t arouse someone to love and good deeds in isolation.” Risking Church by Jim Kallam, Jr., pages 30–31.
Isolation was never God’s design. The Triune God is a holy, relational being. God the Father, Son and Spirit are in perfect unity and relationship with one another. As relational beings, made in the image of God,we were created to live in relationship with God, and each other.
Our culture is privatized and values individualism. It is difficult to establish deep relationships. Mistrust is a key factor that usually leads to isolation. Many churches today provide a small group ministry designed to help people connect and understand God in the context of relationships. But even in a group of 10-12 people who meet regularly, there are no guarantees that they will be able to relate to one another, to listen well and allow the Spirit of God access to their group. It takes authentic community, grounded in the Word of God, open to the Spirit.