For too long, Christians have seen spiritual growth as a private pursuit and consider salvation only in the parameters of a strictly personal affair with Christ. We are taught that spiritual growth is an individual responsibility; therefore, we expect to become more like Christ through our own efforts.
A modern emphasis on individualism has replaced the importance of community. Our sense of isolation has grown even more acute in the computer age. But in the postmodern culture we now find a growing desire for community and a realization of what we have lost in our insolation and pursuit of privacy.
Making Disciples in Your Community is a nine-week Following God Bible study offering an in-depth look at how we grow spiritually in community. Veteran "Following God "study author Barbara Henry defines community as "a group of seekers or believers who come together regularly for mutual edification and encouragement, to study the Scripture, to pray, and to share their faith in order to grow."
In his second letter to the early church, the apostle Peter gave his readers a list of qualities describing mature believers. Each lesson of this study focuses on one of these qualities, how to obtain it, how it grows in us, and how it builds loving community."