I came to know Christ my first year in college, and to say that I was "on fire" for Christ would have been an understatement. I found myself at all the church events during the week as I wanted to absorb everything I could because it felt so new and exciting to walk with Jesus. That meant I was at all the prayer nights, worship events, and Bible studies. But even though I was attending all of those events, I wasn’t really fully known. I felt like I was more coming in and out of a church building but I wasn’t really building relationships. I even remember an older college student pursuing me to see if I was interested in discipleship, but I was nervous about being known and passed up the opportunity.
I thought I was only turning down the opportunity to be discipled, but what I really passed up was being fully known, fully loved, and the fellowship and accountability that comes from diving all the way in. So, as soon as the temptations of what the college life had to offer came crouching around the corner, I quickly found myself falling away from my relationship with Jesus and instead found my way back with an old boyfriend, who also happened to be an atheist. I had slipped away and it happened quicker than I would have ever imagined.
From one day to the next, everything I had been so excited about in getting to know more about Jesus faded away to almost nothing. I would like to say that my worldly living lasted only a moment, but it lasted four years. Those are some of the hardest years to look back on as I caved into believing that what the world had to offer was better than having a relationship with Jesus. As I look back, I realize that my missing link was community. There was no one coming and knocking on my door calling me back. Because I wasn’t fully known, I could slip away from the scene and no one would really notice. It’s easy to be on the sidelines excited about getting to know Jesus but what happens when temptation comes? Who is holding you accountable? The Lord taught me a lot during that time and most of all, He revealed to me how much I needed community. Being a part of a community group now has given me confidence that if I ever had a hint of thinking that the world had something else better to offer, that I would have people coming knocking at my door, loving me enough to speak truth and call me back—back to the giver of life, Jesus.
So, where are you with community? Are you on the sidelines? Or have you dived all the way in? If you have dived all the way in and are being fully known, I want to encourage you to keep at it. It gets hard sometimes, but it’s worth it. If you are on the sidelines, can I encourage you to plug into a community group at Watermark? Trust me when I tell you that being fully known and fully loved is part of God’s plan for us and He never intended for us to walk this journey with Him alone.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” - 1 John 1:7
For help in finding or starting a community group, please contact us at email@example.com.
Artwork is from "Dublin Doors" by Amy Taylor, available at amytaylorart.com. Used with permission.