Essentials of Faith: Community

friends in community

I have some great friends. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for these people, but I know I’m not grateful enough. For encouragement, reproach, joy, sadness, community, this group of friends, is essential. The life of faith is bound to fail without community. My faith would have long since died without the nurturing and support of community along the way.

College community

Coming into college, my faith had no heartbeat, it was clinically dead. Those four years were some of the most crucial in forming who I am today. And I have much to owe to the group of guys with whom I trudged through life all four of those years. See, I’d wandered into Agape (Cru, a college Christian ministry) at the behest of my mother, immediately felt at home, found my way to a Bible study and spent the next four years re-learning how to live. It was these awesome men, in particular, who saw the boy afraid God might forget him become a spiritual teenager.

Philadelphia community

Community is what got me through my year outside Philadelphia. For those of you who don’t know me, I spent a year out of college interning for Cru. It was a paid internship providing tech support for the Mid Atlantic and eventually the Northeast regions. I knew no one in the area, was still rather young in my faith. During that year, I was accused of being a terrorist, spent a few nights sleeping in my car, had my heart broken, and lived barely above the poverty line. Then, there were the nights spent wrestling with my faith. I came out of that year with a few friends who are still with me today and it’s because of them I count that year as worth the price of admission. It’s scotch nights spent chewing on our faith, the up all nights reconciling haunted pasts, dashboard confessionals in company that made that year worth every minute. It’s those people that saved me that torrid year.

Enough about me. How about you? Where do you have community in your life? What has community helped you through? Where has it brought you and where is it taking you? Do you have enough of a community in your life, or are you struggling? Do you even know you’re struggling without it? Friend, I ask because I care about your heart. I care about showing you the greatest blessing in this life. What do you have to lose?