How do you define community?

22 May 2014 Ruth L Snyder

community: picture of four children holding hands and playing in the sunI’m looking forward to starting on another online Bible study with Proverbs 31 Ministries beginning next week. We’ll be using Limitless Life by Derwin L. Gray as the launch pad for our discussions. In preparation for this study we were encouraged to blog about what community means to us.

Here’s how defines community:


[kuhmyoo-ni-tee] Show IPA

noun, plural com·mu·ni·ties.

1.a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.
2.a locality inhabited by such a group.
3.a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually preceded by the  ): the business community; the community of scholars.
4.a group of associated nations sharing common interests or a common heritage: the community of Western Europe.
5.Ecclesiastical . a group of men or women leading a common life according to a rule.
Here’s how I define community:
  1. Community means support – a community is made of a group of individuals with different abilities. When you live in the community you have access to a variety of skills which you yourself don’t posses.
  2. Community brings challenges – living in community takes work. Sometimes it would be “easier” to live on our own. When you live in community you need to communicate clearly, be willing to share, and sometimes even be willing to be wronged.
  3. Community means accountability – When you grow up in a small town, you can’t “get away” with too much. If you’re not doing what’s right, someone is going to call you on it or phone your parents about it. When we live in community, we hold each other accountable, because we all want what’s best for the community.
  4. Community thrives on shared purpose – There has to be a reason for people to do the hard work of living in community. Shared purpose or a common goal provides that reason. When everybody in the community agrees on a common goal, each person is able to contribute to the betterment of the community.

What does community mean to you?


20 thoughts on “How do you define community?

    1. Ruth L. Snyder

      Please don’t delete yours! We are all in different places and we need to be faithful where we are. I’m glad you’re participating. Give yourself permission to learn and to make mistakes – that’s how we learn best.

    2. Lauren

      Don’t you dare!!! I read your blog and it was great! Keep up the good work… and remember that above all, you are writing for an audience of One!!!
      Lauren, P31 OBS blog hop team

  1. Lauren

    Love your definitions of community. Support but challenge… that can be difficult! And a place to thrive… oh, I so need that… Thank you for sharing with us today. Looking forward to growing in community with you!
    Lauren, P31 OBS blog hop team

  2. Shelly Faust

    Hi Ruth! I love the four ways you defined community. My favorite two are: Community brings challenges, and Community thrives on shared purpose. It is definitely challenging at times to be a part of a community, especially after a prolonged period of time. Our differences can either drive us apart or make us stronger together. It takes work for the latter but I’m in it for the long haul! 🙂 And shared purpose? Yes! We are united here by a common purpose – to know and be known by an amazing God – in every area of our lives!

    1. Ruth L. Snyder

      Hi Shelly,
      Thanks for stopping by. You’re so right about how differences can either make us stronger or drive us apart. I’m glad you’re “in it for the long haul.” 🙂

  3. Amanda M.

    I love your direct approach to this question! That is the first thing I did too, go straight to the dictionary. I am really excited about this study and being part of the online community once again. I look forward to sharing support, challenges, accountability and purpose with you!

  4. Trish Cordell

    I think that whole community and accountability…or maybe just the word “accountability” scares off a lot of folks and it’s just too easy to stay in our own little world. But the benefits of community far outweigh the fears…or at least I believe they do. It’s nice to know you have friends you can turn to..after all God placed those folks in your path for a reason 🙂 Gotta share those gifts!! Thanks for your post…very nicely written 🙂

    Trish (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team)

    1. Ruth L. Snyder

      Thanks, Trish
      You’re right. We don’t like to be held accountable. I agree that the benefits outweigh the cost. We just have to be willing to step out in faith. Sometimes it feels like we’re being asked to walk on water like Peter 🙂

  5. Meredith Baltz

    I definitely agree with the accountability definition. We all know the temptations that are out there, and I think that it is important to help each other grow in our relationship with Christ!

  6. Audra

    I hadn’t even considered “challenges” in a community. Thank you for sharing that. All too often challenges can carry a negative weight to them, however, I try to ‘enjoy’ them as much as I can, because I will ALWAYS learn something from a challenge.

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