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Do the words “Christian community” feel prickly to you? Does your heart palpitate a little and your palms begin to sweat at the thought of finding a community of believers and connecting on a deeper level with them? If so, you aren’t the only one!
Being a part of a community can be scary. Who wants people in your personal business? Who wants to be vulnerable and open and authentic? Who wants to let others in or let others that close? That stuff is SCARY for a lot of us.
If the words “Christian Community” make you want to run and hide, you aren’t alone. It seems like more and more people are content to “do life” on their own. We create walls around ourselves and a lot of us really enjoy living inside the refuge that we’ve carefully built. It is safe and predictable and comfortable within our walls. We are in control within the walls.
However, as Christians, we weren’t meant to do life on our own. We were created to journey with others as we walk out our lives of faith. We were created to be a part of a living and vibrant community of believers who encourage, uplift, and spur one another on in our Christian life.
If you’re dragging your feet about finding a community and getting connected, it’s ok. It can be scary. It can be challenging. It can feel vulnerable and personal.
BUT, it can also feel like a little bit of heaven on earth when you find that place of belonging, nurturing, and family. To get you moving out of your comfort zone and into community, here are the top ten reasons you need Christian community.
Top Ten Reasons You Need Christian Community:
10. You can see more clearly. It may look like everyone else has it all figured out and you are the only one who is struggling with this whole faith thing, but when you become a part of a community, you see that we all just sinners saved by grace.
9. You have built-in cheerleaders. When we feel comfortable enough to let our walls down a little, we will realize that those people whom we were afraid of letting in can be our biggest encouragers in the faith. They can lift us up and propel us forward.
8. There is strength in numbers. When we come together as a community, in prayer or in purpose, we are so much stronger than we could ever be alone. Communities can rally together and accomplish so much.
7. Burdens become lighter. When you have a community of people that you can be open and honest with, those things that you’ve been carrying alone can be shared. We all have things that weigh us down. Just sharing your burdens lessens the load.
6. You have someone who understands. As Christians living in today’s day and age, you face some unique challenges. Having a community means that you have someone who understands the things that you are dealing with and the struggles that you face in living a faith filled life.
5. You always have a teacher. There will always be someone who is a little farther along in his or her Christian walk than you are. Engaging in a community means that there is an opportunity for you to be around people who you can look to as mentors. The potential for your growth is unlimited.
4. You always have a student. Just like there will always be someone ahead of you, there is most likely going to be someone behind you. Being a part of a community means that you have the chance to help someone become me stronger in his or her walk with the Lord.
3. You are able to serve. A community is a great place for you to see a need and meet a need. It allows you to cultivate a servant’s heart like the one that Jesus had. Members of a community help and support one another.
2. You get to give and receive grace and mercy. Even the best community is made up of imperfect humans. As a part of community you have the blessing of being able to be the recipient of grace, and mercy as others love you in spite of your flaws. You also receive the blessing of giving that grace and mercy to others.
1. You get to experience a taste of heaven on earth. In heaven, all believers will be one glorious community with the sole purpose of praising Jesus. Having a community of believers with that purpose lets you experience a little of that in the here and now.
Community is hard. It isn’t always the most comfortable thing or the easiest thing for us to seek out. Being in a community takes time and effort. It requires us to step out of our comfort zone and engage with those around us. Even though it may be challenging, one thing is for certain, it is well worth it!
Thank you for creating us to need community. There is so much that we learn about ourselves and about your heart when we step outside of our comfort zone to authentically engage in true community. Give us the strength, the courage, and the desire to seek out a strong and vibrant community. Provide those people in our lives.
In Jesus’ name we pray,
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Bobbie Schaeperkoetter is married to her high school sweet heart and is a homeschooling mama of a tween boy and a teen boy. She loves Jesus with her whole heart and is just doing her best to honor him in the craziness of life. She would love to be a friend and encourage you in your Christian walk as you do the same. You can follow Bobbie’s blog at www.bobbieschae.com. She would love for you to stop by and say hello on social media at www.facebook.com/bobbieschae.com on twitter at www.twitter.com/bobbie_schae and on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/bobbieschae