It takes effort to be known, and it’s risky. The Bible tells us it’s worth it. Will encourages us to be a part of authentic community. Let’s do it.
“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! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
My year as a member of the Timothy Team (T Bar M’s year-long discipleship program) was one of the most impactful of my life. It wasn’t for the Bible reading, studying the spiritual disciplines, or even the trip to Israel (although they were all GREAT!)…it was because of the people I was surrounded by.
Ten young adults stayed in the same house together, worked together, studied Scripture together, and played together. We were literally together 24/7 for a year. When that is the case, there is no hiding. There might be at first, but eventually the walls break down and you start to reveal the true you. It is in that close community my life was changed so much.
Why is authentic community so important?
- “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 When we live our lives alongside someone else, it gives us an opportunity to rub shoulders with each other. It allows us to know each other more deeply, and then allows us to speak into each other’s lives – encouragement and challenges. We learn from each other and grow with each other.
- “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 This is one of the last things Jesus says to His disciples before the crucifixion. How does the world know we are Christians? They see it in our relationships – in the way we love one another,not just in the moment but fully loving each other…the weaknesses, strengths, failures, and successes. There is tremendous value in being fully known and fully loved at the same time – just the way God loves us!
- Community gives us a better picture of God. Genesis tells us we are all made in the image of God. Each of us has different gifts and function differently. Romans 12:4-6 talks about us collectively making up the body of Christ. You can think of it like a cake – you need eggs, flour, sugar, oil, icing and more to complete the cake. Each one might be good on its own, but it is better as part of the whole. None of those individual ingredients can make a cake by itself. But together it makes something better – just like community can. The body together can reveal more of the glory of God than individuals can.
What does your community look like? Who in your life truly knows you and loves you? Who can speak life into you and still challenge you? Let’s reflect more of the glory of God by living in authentic community!
Think about a time when you were a part of a team or group that had a goal. Could you have accomplished it alone? What was enjoyable about the group? What was difficult? How does that relate to how we operate with our Christian brothers and sisters?