“It is grace, nothing but grace, that we are allowed to live in community with Christian brethren.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
For many years, God has been impressing on me the centrality of community to my walk with him and to a vibrant, dynamic and discipling Church. The life of following Jesus is done in community with other believers. Our fellow believers truly are our family, our brothers and sisters, and it is within the context of this family that Christ has designed for us to live and grow into maturity in him. It is also within this context that the Church is able to be a powerfully redemptive presence in our world.
My lived experience of having deep and authentic community with other believers has varied. I have had seasons in which community has been an incredibly rich, life-giving force. There have also been seasons in which these relationships have been shallow and dry, and these have been the most lonely, difficult times in my life.
In January we launched our 2022 cohort of Soul Sisters. These women are going to experience the richness of deep community with each other and with Christ. We are gearing up to launch Complete in February. This is another opportunity for women to enter into deep, committed relationships with each other and to experience growth in relationship with the Lord together.
My prayer is that we do not take the gift of Christian community for granted, but that we would be deeply invested in cultivating life-giving communities – safe and secure places of intimate connection and belonging that reflect God’s grace and love and continuously nurture faith in others.