There are things that all of us need to thrive in our lives. Here are a few: we need support, love, we need the opportunity to grow, we need to be strengthened and encouraged, we need prayer.
Could you imagine what your life would be like if you had all these things available at your fingertips? If every day you knew you had people in your life looking to love you, praying for you, encouraging you?
Well, you can have all of these things and more by seeking out a faith community.
Think back to your time at camp this summer. One of the best parts of camp is each other. We see the same people each day, we know what’s going on in each of our lives, we know who to turn to when we are struggling. The faith community at camp is amazing.
But are you seeking out community now that you are no longer living in one? Have you sought out a community at home?
One of my favourite authors, Henri Nouwen, describes the Christian community in this way:
“Christian community is the place where we keep the flame of hope alive among us and take it seriously so that it can grow and become stronger in us.”
— Henri J. M. Nouwen in Finding My Way Home
Here’s what the Bible says about Christian community:
It is a place of support: Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galations 6:2
It is a place of prayer: Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
It is a place of love: A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17: 17
It is a place of growth: As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
It is a place of strength: For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:4-5
It is a place of encouragement: And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
Support, prayer, love, growth, strength, encouragement… All of these good things and more are a part of being in a faith community.
So how do you find community?
Check out a church
The first step is the hardest one: choose a church and give it a try. I had a professor at university who, when he couldn’t answer a question, would shout out “Google it, BABY!” If searching online isn’t your favourite approach reach out to people you know and ask them about churches in your area.
Lastly, you can reach out to our summer team. We know lots of people in ministry and would be honoured to help you find the right place for you.
Look for groups at school
Many schools have some kind of Christian Group. It may be a bible study or more event-oriented but keep your eyes out and see if you can find this kind of group. They are an excellent source of community.
Keep investing in the community you already have
Just because you no longer live at camp that doesn’t mean your friends are no longer interested in being your life. You have this awesome community so get connected and reconnected. Send emails, letters, texts. Let your director know you want to have coffee (or preferred beverage). Reach out and stay connected.
A faith community is a remarkable thing. They are rarely perfect (as you know) but they are a critical part of your growth and development.
Are you connected to a faith community? If not we want to help you get connected. Our summer directors are here to support you. You can reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post is part of our Leap of Faith Audio Check-ins. We want to encourage you to leap into your faith and continue to grow at home, at school, and in your church. These audio check-ins are meant to encourage you as live out your faith every day.
Want to keep growing?
There are more episode of Leap of Faith and other resources for you to grow in your leadership and faith here.