In 2020 I realized the importance of community. Towards the beginning of the lockdown, I began to struggle spiritually without the Christ-centered community that supported me prior to the pandemic. All those clichés that I used to laugh at were now true in my life, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,“ or “you want what you can’t have.“ I didn’t realize the impact community had on my life until it was gone.
A few weeks into lockdown, I discussed with a friend how I lost all motivation and accountability to stay in the Word. She agreed, and we both went into action mode. How do we change this mindset? What steps can we take to help? Desperate for community and support, we put together a small bible study consisting of the two of us and one other person. In Hebrews 10, Paul wrote, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.“ Lack of community was not something I wanted to make into a habit. I saw first-hand the damage its absence did in my life in just a short amount of time.
Every week, we met virtually to discuss each of the seven keys in the Keys to Freedom study guide. We laughed, we learned from each other, and we shared our hearts. The study challenged us because it called for us to be vulnerable. In our vulnerability, though, we continued to build community.
On occasion, there would be one of us that didn’t want to meet. Too busy at work, overwhelmed by the media, or just too lazy to read the material for that week. But that is where the support and accountability of the group never failed to kick in. We all have off days, or even off weeks. I’ll go out on a limb here and say rarely are we all having off days simultaneously. Some may say this is dramatic, but these are the moments your life can go in two different directions and why I can’t emphasize enough how important your circle is to pull you back in.
Over time we added two more to our study. People are hungry for human connection and community. And when you are happy, healthy and whole in the middle of a GLOBAL PANDEMIC people NOTICE. We did not seek out those two people, they saw what we had, and they wanted it. Put simply in Keys to Freedom, “Your victory is designed to grow and impact everyone around you. You are becoming a shining example of God’s grace in the midst of whatever situation you are in.“
Community has been my lifeline during this season! If you feel alone or unmotivated, I would highly encourage you to find healthy relationships wherever you can. Never underestimate the importance of community!
Mercy Multiplied is a nonprofit Christian organization that equips people to live free and stay free through Jesus Christ. To learn more about our free-of-charge residential counseling program and Outreach Services visit our website at MercyMultiplied.com.