one of the biggest obstacles i've encountered since coming to college is finding a group of people that can daily encourage me with my walk with the Lord. i've been blessed enough to find a group of girls that are so so wonderful and i love them to death. however, it's a huge adjustment getting used to the fact that i'm not gonna be surrounded by the same amazing 56 people that i graduated high school with for college as well.
what is biblical community, and why is it so important?
genesis 2:18 says that "it is not good for man to be alone". even though man was walking with God in the garden without sin, this relationship was still not ideal. in the Gospels we see that Jesus' final words before the cross were a prayer for unity among His people (John 17:21-22). it's evident that the concept of community isn't a completely strange idea, but rather essential to the "outworking of God's purpose in the world" (matt chandler). God is glorified when he's properly reflected, and by living in unity with other believers, we rightly image Him.
i believe community is so important because without a solid group of christians around you, you will eventually end up feeling empty. a person can only pour into others in a limited capacity if he or she is not being encouraged and challenged in his walk in return. community is so important in order for people to grow, myself included. you grow closer to the Lord through community; through "doing life" with other believers. Jesus and his disciples did everything together: eating, living, serving. i want a group like that.
witness is another big thing for me. i've learned recently that if you are living differently than other people, it shows. i've always heard that phrase. "don't feel like you have to do what everyone else is doing. people will notice and wonder what makes you so different." growing up in a christian bubble, i never had the opportunity to be that "different" person... until now. people notice when you're living your life differently and not conforming to social norms. how much better would that witness be if you were in a community of people who were doing the same thing? Godly community is the best way for people to come to understand and know the gospel. (john 17:23).
so that's what i'm doing. i have amazing people in my life, whether they be here or away, and i am excited to see who else the Lord brings into my life in the future - more people that i can "do life" with and share the gospel with through our words, actions and community :)
"and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but
encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing
near." -hebrews 10:24-25
"two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.
For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is
alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!" -ecclesiastes 4:9-10
"for where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them." -matthew 18:20