The Power of Community

Community is an essential element of life. God created us to do life with others. However, community is often “messy” because community is full of messed up people like you and me. This is why the Bible stresses the importance of love, unity, and peace amongst the Body of Christ.

One could argue that in the purest sense, church-life must always connect to koinonia (New Testament Greek word for communion, fellowship, common unity etc.). For example, the opposite of koinonia is the Greek term idion, which implies a private, hidden, and non-participatory experience.[1] Since the New Testament presents the church as a group of believers who gather together for worship, fellowship, and service, it is clear that concepts of “unity” and “together” must serve as foundational elements of who we are as Christ-followers. [2] In fact, some argue that there is no true “being” without communion since nothing exist as an individual and even God exists within the communal framework of personhood.[3]

I love the BJJ community. There is nothing like experiencing the transformation that takes place on mats all across the planet as a person moves from stranger to family. There is something powerful about having an “instant friend” all because of this wonderful art of ours. Jiu Jitsu is a beautiful equalizer that tears down walls of race, background, gender, and body type. Jiu Jitsu was not designed as a solo art. Jiu Jitsu does not function at its best in environments of ego, negativity, division, or strife. So, instead of following the latest “gym drama”, our responsibility as Christ-followers who also practice BJJ is to strive for unity in our community. I understand the importance of team loyalty. However, we must not forget that regardless of the patch on our kimono or the logo on our rash guard, we are all part of the same BJJ community. More than that, as Christ-followers we are part of a BIG family that demands a posture of love, unity, and service toward others.


[1] Philip Kariatlis. “Affirming koinonia ecclesiology: An orthodox perspective.” Phronema 27, 1 (May 2012): 53.

[2] Ibid

[3] Veli-Matti Karkkainen. An introduction to ecclesiology: Ecumenical historical, and global perspectives (Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 988.

  • Written by Carlos Serrano

About Carlos Serrano

Carlo Serrano is a pastor and teacher who is dedicated to helping people become fully devoted followers of Christ. When he is not serving the soldiers and families of the Clarksville/Ft. Campbell area as pastor of GraceLife Church or teaching at Grace College of Divinity, Carlo is pursuing his passion for BJJ. Carlo is Level 1 certified in the Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) and holds a 4 stripe Blue Belt under Ray Casias. Carlo is married and has two sons. Before entering vocational ministry he served 5 years in the US Army. For more information visit or email Carlo at

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