I've been thinking a lot about the idea of community. What does it mean to our everyday lives? What's the purpose? And, why should we pursue community in our lives? Those are just a few questions I've been pondering.
I think all of us would admit that being in relationship with people and the desire to share life with someone resides in all of us. It may be a spouse, a sibling, parent, friend or even a pet but we all want to share our lives with others.
We all have little communities all around us.
This is why we have block parties, PTA's, play groups for kids, small groups in our churches, and fill our lives with activities.
Even when God created the Earth he knew, and he had a plan for this idea of community. It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, the very "first" community.
In Genesis 2:18 he says,
"It's not good for man to be alone, I will make him a helper suitable for him." (NIV)
We can even see through this scripture how God even at the beginning realized this need for community, so he created Eve for Adam. So they could live life together, and lean on each other.
People ask me all the time (once they find out) why I choose to fore go my cheer leading scholarship, at one of the top journalism schools in the country to go to a private Christian University after high school? My answer is simple; community.
When I visited North Central University (NCU) for the first time I knew it was the place I wanted to be. I wanted and desired that close knit community that NCU had built and is known for today. I went to public school my entire life, and the idea of surrounding myself with other Christians and being in such a place of encouragement was what I desired and wanted for my college education.
While at NCU you can't escape community, it's everywhere. But it's those moments of community and living life connected with other people where I grew the most, where I was challenged in my faith, where I met my best friends and ultimately my husband.
We see this model even in the New Testament, when Jesus choose to surround himself with the twelve disciples. Now, Jesus probably didn't need the twelve. One betrayed him, they were tax collectors, they argued. You might be thinking, who needs that?
But, Jesus knew the bigger purpose behind all that. I believe he choose the twelve in part for this reason if community. They challenged each other. He challenged them, they learned from each other.
Orion and I have said many times before in our ministry that we want to help people come to authentic relationships with Christ and with others. This is our ultimate goal.
This is how we grow, and become closer to God and each other.
I believe when you create lasting and authentic relationships you leave a lasting impact on the kingdom. When we live life connected we're bonded to Christ and to each other.
I feel challenged to build the best "community" I possibly can around me. I feel challenged to help others connect with God and connect with people.
Some questions we can ask ourselves:
- What are we doing to build community?
- How are we/you building authentic relationships with those around you (in your neighborhood, your school, your church, etc?)
- What more can we do to accomplish this goal of community?
I encourage you to look for those amazing opportunities in your life, pray for them even to build community. To challenge yourself to grow in your relationship with Christ.