We had no intentions of joining the church that August Sunday night. We had just driven halfway across the country, making the transition from serving as student ministers in Seattle to becoming seminary students in Fort Worth. Most of our belongings were still in boxes, but the truck was unloaded and our volunteer moving crew had gone home. We wanted to find a new church home, and the church only a stone’s throw away from our apartment complex seemed like a decent place to start.
It wasn’t what we thought we were looking for. It was a mostly older congregation in a transitional neighborhood. Sermons were strongly expository, tending a little to the academic. The organ was the focal point of the sanctuary and there wasn’t a praise chorus in sight. But that first night we found the community God knew we needed.
We slipped in a little late, but we were warmly greeted after the service. We met fellow students, seminary professors, and retired missionaries. They invited us to a baked potato fellowship at one of their homes. It didn’t feel like a group of strangers. It felt like coming home.
We made some visits to other churches just to be sure, but we kept coming back. I couldn’t scratch off all the boxes on my church checklist, but the checklist eventually went out the window. We had found something more important: a community of faith to encourage, equip, and launch us into ministry life.
Community makes a difference in our pursuit of Christ. Participating in the family of faith refines and strengthens us. We learn from those who have gone ahead of us in faith and encourage those who follow us in turn. God reveals himself in the gathering of his people, and there is a power in our communion we can’t match on our own.
We need community, but community can be hard to find. One of the tragic effects of poverty is the feeling of being isolated and alone. Children living in poverty can feel adrift, like no one cares. But when you sponsor a child through Compassion, your sponsored child discovers the awesome power of community. One of the great things about Compassion is that it is a church based program. Sponsored children may have once felt alone, but now they are learning what it feels like to be part of a loving, supportive community. Your letters let them know that you care and that they are loved–by you, by their church, and by our gracious Father.
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Will you help a child discover the power of community by becoming a sponsor? $38 a month helps rescue a child from extreme poverty by providing food, education, medical care, and opportunities for personal growth. Click here to find children in need of a sponsor.
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