Vince is right! A zip code changes everything! I have moved 12 times over 28 years before Carol and I settled in San Diego. Each move was an eventful relocation that seemed more consequential as I grew older. No move was more dramatic than when my family moved from New Jersey to the San Francisco Bay Area when I was in high school.
In California people dressed differently and spoke differently. Californians asked, “How’s it going?” In New Jersey no one but your friends ever cared! On the West coast everyone acted like they were your friend. On the East coast we did not talk friendly with strangers. In the Bay Area you had to drive 15 minutes to buy a bagel. In New Jersey I had to walk 5 minutes. My high school in New Jersey had no parking. In California the school had acres of parking. In California waiters asked, “How is everything?” In New Jersey no one cared — you were going to pay for it anyways!
Where we live and the relationships we make have an enormous impact on our experience of life. Paul describes Christians as men and women who are “in Christ” 86 times because where you live influences who you live with and how you choose to live.
Faith in Christ is life in Christ. Life in Christ creates relationships in Christ. The Christian life is personal and it is communal. Simply put, there is no New Testament concept of the Christian life that is not personal and communal. Communal is not merely synonymous with “relational”. You cannot have community without relationships. But community is so much more. Genuine community includes a shared faith, identity, commitment, love, prayer, and mission. This is our vision for our LifeGroups.