Have you ever thought about how communities, cities, or nations were created and designed to operate? Let’s explore this idea of our communities. Every community has what I call the five pillars. The pillars are specific spheres of influence that a community requires to reach its potential. The pillars are education, business, church, government, and media. All are crucial, and all are Biblical.
The pillars were designed to fulfill a specific purpose and specific tasks in their areas of authority. None of these community pillars exists for itself. They all exist for serving the community and uplifting the community.
Community upliftment happens when each of the five pillars is aware of their specific function and doesn't overstep their authority. Ultimately, each community pillar must start with the following premise: “We (the pillars) are here for the community; the community is not here for us. We are smaller “communities” with a specific role and function, which are uplifting our community. The community is not a means to our end. We will not overstep our authority. We will not ‘dis’ another pillar. We will drive in our lane and stay in it. We are here to complete one another, not compete with one another.”
Using the analogy of a human body, let’s explore what each pillar contributes to a community. The church pillar is the heart. The education pillar is the brain. The government pillar is the skeleton. The media pillar is the sensory organs. The business pillar is everything else in the body.
What does "the church is the heart" mean? The church contributes the essential character core values (traditional values like the United States had when it began) necessary for the whole community to operate. Values determine behavior. These critical core values release individuals, families, and the community to be all they can be. Like the heart pumps blood to the body, the church circulates values such as respecting others, telling the truth, authenticity, diversity, honesty, integrity, caring, selflessness, compassion, honoring, behavior with boundaries, etc. for a community's well-being.
Suppose any of the five pillars lacks these essential ‘church-contributed’ values and awareness of eternal life. In that case, it will produce corrupt corporations, lawless behavior, false education, agenda-driven news, and political tyranny. People will struggle with low self-esteem and disabling issues that are expensive to repair both emotionally and fiscally. Many will not fare well - they will be on welfare. People will use each other as means to their ends. Ultimately, everyone in the community loses and underachieves. Why? Real character determines sustainable success.
Education is crucial to any community. A brain is a fantastic tool designed to gain knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Proverbs 9:9 talks about knowledge in a positive way. "Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase his learning.”
Both spiritual and natural knowledge is needed for a community to be all that it can be. Without education, people drink brown water and become sick. Without education, people become victims of their surroundings, victims of their culture, and oppressors' victims. Education teaches the knowledge to make people in the community better. All over the world, wherever education is lacking, people and, therefore, communities, underachieve. Education is efficient and effective if empowered by God-given values.
The government's role is to be the skeleton of any community, city, country, or society. Romans 13:1 notes the government is of God, and Romans 13:4 says that the government is a servant of God.
The skeleton provides the framework on which to build a body. The government sets up the boundaries by which all the community lives. The government collects taxes that bring infrastructure to the community. The government is appointed to be the "avenger of wrong," protecting the community from those who would bring calamity and lawlessness.
The government is a servant, not a master. The government is a referee, not a player - the community benefits when the government stays within its influence area. Conversely, when the government isn't operating by traditional values, it becomes inefficient and self-serving.
The media pillar operates like the sensory part of our body. Media gives us feedback just like the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and nerves do in our bodies. The media pillar facilitates communication and community awareness. Media is an outlet for the arts, sports, news, and other essential information necessary to any community's well-being.
However, without traditional values, the media will become political and agenda-driven. The media must report the news, not make the news. If you're standing in a fire, and your nerves report to you that you are not standing in a fire, you have a problem. If you are not standing in a fire, and media reports you are standing in a fire, you will underachieve. The same is true of the community.
One of the most prominent characteristics of underachieving communities is the lack of business and business opportunities. Businesses and people employed by companies were created and designed by God to have an enormous role in creating wealth in a community.
The ability to create goods and services, make a profit, provide employment, pay taxes to the community and tithes to the church, pay school tuition, develop new medicines, etc. make business essential to the community. When companies get greedy, it's a red light on your car's dashboard that they have departed from church-contributed values. That’s unhealthy for the business and the community. Pigs get fat; hogs get slaughtered.
Do you see how this works? Government, education, business, church, and media pillars work together in a strategic alliance for a healthy community. When ‘a pillar’ thinks it is ‘the pillar,’ everyone loses. The heart is for the body, not the body for the heart. The same is true for the brain, skeleton, sensory organs, and the rest of the body.
Think of the potential if each pillar would honor and include the other four pillars roles, so things don't come apart in your community.