Craig and I tossed a few ideas around for what our February focus could be. The obvious seemed to be “love” because it’s February and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. But as I’ve been thinking about us, about you, and about community, I landed here:
Some of you know that last summer I accepted a position at my church. My official title is “Groups Coordinator” and basically what I do is help get people connected into community. I strongly believe that life is better together with people who will love us, grow us, care for us. We do the same for them — iron sharpens iron.
All over Scripture, God shows us the power of community. In Genesis, He tells us it’s not good for man to be alone—even when He was still in perfect relationship with Adam. Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus traveling most everywhere with His disciples. In Acts, we see the growth of Christianity happening as people gathered together in homes to eat, worship, and pray together. Paul continually calls for unity, implying there are people with whom we must be united. He also unpacks that each of us brings something needed and necessary for the Body of Christ to function. In order for us to spread the Gospel—in order for us to be the Church—we must be together.
Craig and I have witnessed first hand the power of community where honesty, authenticity, and vulnerability are welcomed. See, community isn’t a place to try to prove that you’re worthy. You already are. Community isn’t a place to try to convince other people you’re okay. Community is a place where not being okay is okay. I’ve heard people ask if it’s was a good idea to join a couples community group even if their marriage was in a hard place. They feared they would be the only one that was struggling. But community is where this quote by C.S. Lewis has the chance to spring to life:
Those words have the power to dispel loneliness, shame, and isolation—all tools the enemy uses to prevent our healing, our freedom, and our joy. When we keep our struggles and our problems locked within ourselves, we are choosing to do the impossible: to carry up a 1 ton boulder up a tall mountain. When we take the risk and share with someone safe, our burden becomes lighter. We have a helper who will carry this burden with us on the road to healing. And as that weight lifts slightly, we feel the sense of hope that perhaps with someone else, there is the possibility of arriving where we want to go. There is room to breathe, to stand a little straighter, to lift our eyes and see what we could not when our vision was limited only to the ground we trod.
What if we each made the commitment to do life together? To carry each other’s burdens? To listen to our spouses, other couples, friends and to speak those words of authenticity and vulnerability — “me, too.” Let us not pretend that we have arrived or to wear the facade that says we need no one, but rather, open our hearts to those who God has sent so we may be the fullness of the people we have been called to be.
Below is a video of a couple who chose to engage in community even though their marriage was in shambles, even though they were afraid, even though they didn’t think that joining into community would bring any relief or healing or joy.
What would it look like for you to take a step toward “together?” What are your fears? Where could God be leading you? Even if you’ve had a poor experience with community before, we encourage you to not give up, to try again. This is God’s will for you and He is there to help you on this journey!