Why is community so important when it comes to our faith?
From the very beginning of creation, it is clear in God's plan that we were not designed to be alone.
So God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created them;
male and female He created them.
When I first became saved, I was like a fish out of water. I was excited, full of drive and to be completely honest, felt like I had just been fired out of a canon! That's probably an odd thing to say, isn't it? However, it's the closest I can come to explaining how I felt. You see, I was on FIRE for the Lord at first....
I wanted to scream it from the roof top! Except, there was no one to listen to me. I had friends, not a lot but enough that I was happy! But not one of them was Christian. Literally, zero.
I had no community.
Fast forward about a month....and that flame was barely a sizzle. Okay, let's be real...it was out. I was back to living in my old ways; for myself and for the world.
I stopped praying. I stopped reading my Bible. I had no time or space for God in my life.
So, what's my point in writing all of this? Here is what I have learned now at the age of 38 years old.
We NEED community. Especially when it comes to our walk with God. Why? Why is it so important? How come we can't just do it alone? Because it goes against how we are hard wired.
If I had a good, strong, Bible preaching church that I belonged to when I was 19 and new to Christ...I probably wouldn't have gone back to my old ways. I can't guarantee that, of course, but I would have liked the odds if I was a betting gal!
When you have a church family, you have people to hold you accountable in your actions. You have people who will get down in the trenches with you and hold you and pray over you. You have people who will hold you up when you can't stand on your own; who will remind you that you are a child of God. You have people who understand the great commission and how we are meant to be on mission for God and will do the work with you.
You have support!
Bible studies, prayer groups, outreach. It's all meant to be done in a community of people.
That's why this past year was so incredibly challenging for so many people. Isolation and time separated from one another is so severely unhealthy for us; physically, emotionally and spiritually. Having so many people forced to stay home and "attend" church online was not feeding our souls the way that they are meant to be fed! Even for the most introverted person.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,
for He who promised is faithful;
and let us consider how to stimulate one another to
love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together,
as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another;
and all the more as you see the day drawing near.