I Need Community
As we close the final two months we have been challenged to think about the things we have learned to honor this year and the things we seek to honor once our Mission Year is finished. Since being in Mission Year I have learned the beauty of community. Community is incredibly challenging yet necessary. Here are the few reasons why I believe community is necessary and what community has meant to me.
We were created to need community.
Community teaches you about yourself and how your actions impact others.
We all possess different gifts and talents that each person in the community can benefit from.
Sin thrives in isolation.
When going through tough times we need our siblings to help us bear those burdens.
Thinking you can live this Christian life alone can result in pride. Community will naturally produce humility.
Physical presence is powerful. I’m a firm believer that hugs heal!
Reason number 3 played out well one night when our neighbor came over for dinner. We all played a role in preparing for the night. As our guest was in our home he was able to benefit from the gifts and talents of all of the housemates. From the delicious meal, to the funny conversation, to deep theological conversation.
Reason 6 has been a personal challenge for me. For so long of my walk with Christ, I was alone. When I say alone, I mean I was not constantly in contact with a consistent community who could “do life” with me. The majority of my studying of the Bible was done alone, praying was done alone, fasting, wrestling with questions, etc, was mostly done alone. This resulted in pride because I had the mentality, “I can do this (live for God) by myself.” When you rely on yourself you are relying on your own strength and ability to take you to place you could never imagine. This means that you think your own strength and ability is sufficient. That is FALSE. It wasn’t until I broke down crying in a prayer meeting that I was introduced to community and the idea of doing life with people. But my time in Mission Year has shown me I not only need to do life with people because I get lonely but because I NEED people! Living in community has shown me to not think too highly of myself. No matter how great I may become I will never be in the position to where I don’t need others.
My encouragement to you would be to pray for community if you do not already have one. This may not look like you moving into a house of strangers but it can look like you having a small piece of the body of Christ by whom you can be challenged by, cry with, pray for, and study with.
Image Credit: Death to the Stock Photo
Stephanie Cassell is a current Chicago team member. Originally from Mint Hill, NC, she attended UNC at Chapel Hill. Read more on her blog or support her by visiting her donation page.