Refocus – Community

Hey y’all!

So far in REFOCUS:

  • We’ve looked at how we need to Dump Distractions in order to better focus on God.
  • We’ve seen that we need to Pray Profusely in order to communicate with God.
  • We’ve talked about Godly Goals and how we can sometimes lose sight of why were we doing them in the first place.
  • And finally we’ve seen how it is necessary to go through a Digital Detox and unplug from the world so we can plug back in to God.

The factor that I believe is essential to all Christians and the thing that ties all of the Refocus blogs together is

COMMUNITY

As Christians, we are called to be in community with one another in order to:

  • GROW

Being surrounded by fellow Christians pushes us to continue to grow in our faith. It is very difficult to stay static in your faith when you are continuously cocooned (growing and changing community of others who share and understand your faith.

Romans 12:4-5

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

  • be held ACCOUNTABLE

I don’t know about you, but when I know that I am accountable to someone, and that I need to be able justify and explain my actions or decisions, I tend to make very different choices. When living in community you are held accountable for your actions because it is no longer only you who is affected, but also everyone in your group as well. You become responsible for yourself and others and it makes a world of a difference!

  • have SUPPORT and ENCOURAGEMENT from fellow Christians

Now it is all well and good to want to grow and to have people who will hold you accountable for your actions, but you also need support in order to do these things. We were not meant to be alone. We are built to live and thrive in community with one another.

Hebrews 10:24-25

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

God did not leave Adam alone, but created Eve:

Genesis 2:18

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Jesus was not alone but had his twelve disciples

The twelve were not alone, but travelled with others to spread the message and establish Churches.

Churches are a community of individuals who come together to worship God.

And so on and so forth… We are called to live in COMMUNITY and NOT ALONE and I urge you to find YOURS. Find a place where you are loved, where you are supported and encouraged, where you are held accountable to others and where you are able to grow in your faith!

PS. Here are more great verses about community: http://dailyverses.net/community

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#countdowntocamp!: What does Camp mean to Tim Blais?

Today’s post was written by Tim Blais, an all around good guy. Here is his post about “what does camp mean to me”

I am a Senior Camp staff member because Katrina Richards doesn’t play the guitar.

Let me explain. As a thirteen-year-old Hudsonite Christian, I’d had a few experiences with Christian day camps. As a kid I’d gone to the ones at the Hudson Community Baptist Church, of which my memories are now basically nonexistant although they prominently feature a chipmunk mascot. I’d been peripherally involved in one called “Jungle Journey,” which proclaimed “In the Jungle of Life, God’s Truth will win!” but by then I thought I was getting a bit old for cutesy animal analogies and Christian children’s CDs featuring obnoxiously over-the-top “kiddy” voices. So when Crosstalk Daycamps set up shop in Hudson’s St. James Church, I paid little attention. My mom, who has a finger in three-quarters of Hudson’s Christian activities, was involved of course, but I was content to stay home. I didn’t care much for people at the time.

But I was a musician. A church musician. And those of you who are church musicians know that we are ALWAYS in demand. So my mom comes home after the first day and says: “They need a guitarist! Come down for just an hour. You don’t have to deal with kids, you just need to play some super simple songs and then you can go home.” So that’s what I did. The first day. But the second day someone invited me to sit in on the Pathfinders’ discussion group. And the third day I got dragged into the Water Day activities. By the end of the week, not only was I a full-fledged Daycamps helper, but I’d had a taste of the MISSION that the daycamps team was on. Their desire to love these little kids and introduce them to Jesus was real, and their desire to include and love seemed to spill over to me as well. I don’t know how much Kat and the other team members (Cara and Nikki, I think, although I may be getting my years confused) realized the effect this had on me, but I was used to feeling completely uncomfortable in any setting involving people the same age as me, and this was so different. Long story short, they invited me to Senior Camp, I went.

Community. I know it’s a word that’s tossed around a lot, but that’s the best way to describe what Senior Camp meant to me. The only previous week-long camp I’d been to was a Cub Camp; very similar on the surface but very different where it counted. I’d felt extremely alone there; the kids had been cliquish and alienating and told jokes I didn’t understand, there was no systematic effort by the leaders to build community among people, and we had no greater purpose for why we were actually there. I’d been so homesick I was physically sick. Senior Camp was so different. The tent discussions (yes, tent, I’m old), the small group time, even things I didn’t realize at the time like the way the staff encourage inclusive conversation during mealtimes; everything about Senior Camp pointed—points—us toward genuinely empathizing with our fellow campers, getting to know them in a meaningful way and using that as the basis to get at the things that are really important in our lives. We’re able to trust each other with our struggles, our fears, our dreams and our walk with God because of the intentionally loving community that Senior Camp sets up.

I didn’t keep in touch with many people the first year. I was an introverted 14-year-old who hated telephones, and while Senior Camp had deeply affected me I still knew very little about keeping up friendships; especially with people who were inconvenient to see. But halfway through the year, I got a call from Phil, my tent leader. Wanting to know how I was doing, that I knew I was still part of the community, and to make sure that I came the next year. I did. And the year after. And the year after that. And I think it was Senior Camp, and the deep friendships that came out of it, that really broke down my resistance to relationships, that countered my school-inspired fear of people and allowed me to see them instead as beautiful, loving, messy creations of God, worth committing to and, imperfect as they are, worth loving with all you’ve got.