The Gift of Community

I spent my Wednesday morning in one of my favorite locations in Orlando. Park Avenue is the jewel of Central Florida. It is the perfect place for a morning stroll and picnic, especially when it involves the wonderful students in our youth group….

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We had a great morning window shopping and eating some snacks before the heat of the day came out.

Ben and I love hosting events, but the downfall of our small apartment (that is perfect for just the two of us) is that there is limited space to host gatherings. Last night we decided to give it a try and it was surprisingly not a problem at all! We managed to fit fourteen friends in our tiny one bedroom apartment….

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We have the privilege of living life among this amazing group of people, that I like to call family.

Over the past six years, I have learned the importance of community. I think Scripture attests over and over again to the fact that life is not meant to be lived or cultivated in solitude.

The kid playing basketball alone in his driveway never becomes great without instructional coaching, the strengths of his teammates, and the sharpening of skills that only comes from other people. When we start thinking we’re strong enough and good enough on our own, we believe things opposed to a gospel of need.

Who will ask tough questions when you choose sin or share your joy and PARTY with you when God is faithful? Who will speak the gospel of grace when you think you’ve blown it? Who will pray with you when you feel alone or shaken in your faith?

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These friends see God as their Father because of their faith in the work of Jesus Christ. Because they have experienced Christ’s unconditional love, they love well. They treat one another as children of God, deeply loved by the Father. Through community, I have been blown away by the way others share their money, time, resources, needs, hurts, successes, and more. They know the good, the bad, the ugly and yet still pursue me with open arms. I tangibly experience Jesus through them.

Community is not always easy to find.Ben and I are pretty confident that the Lord does not have us in Orlando forever. We eventually will move and have to seek out a new community. Life changes and people move across the state, country, or world. Community does not just happen. It takes investment of time and energy. It’s not always perfect and it can (more often than not) be messy. But it is such a gift. It is so worth it, and I am eternally grateful for the season and community God has us in.

Where are one of your favorite places to go in the city you live in?What do you love the most about the people God has surrounded you with?

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