Church Within a Church Within a Church

Preacher and author Rick Warren said there are five concentric circles of commitment within the community of believers. They start outside and move toward the middle with community, crowd, congregation, committed, and core. 

This idea means that there are different types of congregations within a Church. First, some call the Church home, some attend occasionally, and others only attend and do nothing else. Then, finally, some people come and serve and are connected to others who do the same. 

Every week at worship, I see these layers of people interact. Some are here for their annual visit; others come in and out without talking to anyone. Then a core group shows up early and talks to people in meaningful conversations. They hang around after worship, share stories, and often share a meal. This group looks forward to Church all week and deeply loves the people who are part of it. 

If Rick Warren is correct in his assessment of the Church, then if you come on Sunday morning and it is kind of bland, unenjoyable, and disconnected, the problem might not be the Church but your level of commitment to it. One of the best ways to get the most out of the Church is to become part of the core, which comes through a commitment only you can make.


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