Interestingly enough, most people groups know this truth as well. They live in close-knit communities - tribes, clans, households. The identity of one person is bound up in the corporate identity. The two-thirds world (as the "third-world" is apparently now known as) understands the meaning, reality, and necessity of living communally and relationally. Almost every other people group in the world outside of North America and Western Europe live like this today. And even in America, hermits/reclusive people are seen as "social outcasts" - the weird ones.
We are who we are only in relationship to others. No matter where I go, whether there are people around or I'm on a deserted island, I am and forever will be the daughter of Don and Juanita, the sister of Heather and Rachael, friend of Emily and Matt, college roommate of Adina. I am who I am in relationship to these people. We all are.
Though community and relationality are seen all around us, why does the American mind refuse to see itself in terms of relationship? Why specifically does the American church fail to see itself as community? As the body of Christ? All too often, the American church is seen as "a church is often seen as a voluntary association made up of religious individuals whose allegiance lies elsewhere." (Drs. Brad Harper & Paul Metzger, Exploring Ecclesiology) Yet, that's not what we were designed for.
We are designed and created for community, for relationship. It is who we are.
How then do we live like it?