One day here at work our head blogger, Liz, asked me to list a few things I am passionate about. One of the first things that came to mind was community. No, not the TV show (although I really do love that show), or the classic coffee choice of all churches, but genuine open fellowship with friends who care about my life.
I spent a lot of time in high school hanging out with great friends, but we never experienced the goodness of real, honest community. After just a few weeks at college I realized what my high school relationships had been missing.
There is a huge difference between surface level friendships and true fellowship. Living in the freshmen dorm, Chrestman, opened up my eyes to what true community with believers can look like. For the first time in my life I experienced encouragement from the Word, accountability to live a holy life, and great conversations about life and the struggles of adjusting to college.
When I went home for Thanksgiving Break of my freshman year, my high school friends and I got together and compared all of our experiences from the past semester. All of us, in some way, had experienced true community with new friends, and we were all confused as to why we had never looked for that fellowship during high school.
If I could go back to high school Hunter I would tell him three things:
1. Be real and transparent. Express your struggles with people who care about you and want you to succeed. If you see an issue in a friend, let him know IN LOVE.
2. Seek friends who are going to challenge you to GROW. Community should encourage and develop maturity.
3. Let all things be done to glorify God. If a conversation is not building someone up or bringing praise to the Father, don’t have it. The world should see your friend group and know that you are set apart because the purpose of Christian community is to let the world know the love of God.
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” – Romans 12:10
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” – Hebrews 10:24
-Hunter, lover of community, realness, and great friends.