community

It is easy to get out of community with church. b and I used to lead a small group at our house, but with a second colicky baby + the meeting being on Friday nights, it became too much and we called it quits. so we went almost a year without a group.

I noticed, a year out of any set small group that it was easier to be discontent with the church, easier to take offense at the church, less desire to attend, to take the trouble. And during that same year my side of the family began to be ripped apart by the selfish actions of a certain member of the family. Sin can destroy so much so quickly.

We got to a point, this December, where we decided that even if it meant only me and the girls going to a group (there aren’t any groups that meet when b is off work), we must must must get back into community with our church. we hadn’t realized how much support we were getting from community until it was sporadic, whenever-we-can-get-together kind of support.

we miss sitting around the dinner table weekly telling other brothers and sisters in Christ what is going on with us, what spiritual battles we’re fighting. we miss all the kids running around playing and fighting and tugging each others hair and we miss those nights our table was full and then some, chairs pulled up all around.

I think church community is a little (imperfect, maybe burnt on the edges) taste of heaven really. Because my personality shouldn’t like it at All—an introvert entertaining a dozen people in her house weekly, and loving it? eating dinner with a big group of people, some of whom I’ve never met before? no. that is not me. But its me in Christ.

One thing I learned in 2014 is that it matters very little what interests, life experience, stage of life you have in common, if you have Christ in common, then you are family.

If it were up to me, I would’ve kept waiting to stumble upon all the artsy writer types (who are also young moms and maybe work a little outside the home) to find my community in church (guess how many of those are in my church? that is right: one!). I’m thankful that b. led our household in a direction I wasn’t comfortable with—into the crowd. Into fellowship with Athletes and Popular Girls and, good gracious, even Sciencey Types.

So as the family I was born into suffers, crumbles even, i don’t need to feel that I’m left without a family—the one I was reborn into is forever. And now we’re reaching back out to it—pulling up our chairs to the table.

4 Comments

  1. I love the sound of your group that is an all-family small group. We don’t have anything like that in our church, but it is something that I have been imagining of late. Part of me is fearful to try to start it, partly of failure (of course!) but also because like you I am an introvert. I love connecting with people but it drains me too, and so that part of things makes me wonder ‘can I really do this?’ and ‘will I wish I hadn’t started it?’.

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    1. the group we led was mainly young families and couples–i loved having us all together like that! we’ve started going to a pretty large small group–one thing i’ve apprecaited about this one is the diversity, with older couples, college kids, married couples with teenagers, married couples with babies–i feel like i can learn a lot from all these people in different stages of life!

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  2. This is such an amazing post. I am so convicted and challenged by it. I will be giving these words a lot of thought as we struggle to find our place in church community with a special needs child. Oh, how I wish you and Bryan would plant a church here!

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    1. its something that has taken me a long time to come to (as you know, from my frequent complainings about the church). i feel like God is giving me peace about our church though–and bryan and i both feel like we need to fight for community more than we had been, just hoping community would happen for us. i think its so hard with little kids in general, but i can’t imagine also having a special needs child–i know our church isn’t equipped for that at all (and i can’t even think of one in our whole town that is!). i hope y’all do find community soon though–with all the stuff going on with my family, i have Desperately needed community with the church, and i know if it can help someone as introverted and antisocial as me, it can help anyone

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