Living faith in a small community is not as easy as being anonymous in a large church. In a large church you can come and go almost without notice but in a small community you can’t hide.
If you are having a bad day, everybody knows about it and your actions have immediate consequence. You simply can’t put on a “game face” without someone calling you out or pushing your buttons.
In our community, everyone participates and if you sit silently someone will ask you a question hoping that you will join the conversation. Hiding in plain sight is not an option.
So what do you do when you are having a bad day? How do you cope with community life when your life has too much drama? This is where the reality of your faith shows itself.
Conflict in community is necessary. Many people have said, “If there is no conflict then there is no real relationship.” Growth and relational depth is fostered as we work through the issues of life together.
Civility is good but all too often Christian communities avoid the relational messiness in favor of a cordiality that has no depth. We have churches that feel friendly but are full of isolated people. True friendship has its ups and downs.
Living out your faith becomes less theoretical in a small community as you have to work through difficulties. This is not always fun but the rewards of living live in community far outweigh the momentary relational messiness.