By: Amanda Frittz
Adam and I used to go to church and halfway through the service I would be nudging Adam with my elbow to wake him up… Unfortunately, I’m not kidding. Adam could NEVER finish a church service without getting a nap in. We didn’t have any biblical community, accountability, or need for him to be paying attention. So, he didn’t.
When we joined a home church it was completely different. People knew us. Not only did the know us but they paid attention to us, and they could definitely see if Adam started dozing off. Not so surprisingly Adam’s church naps had seen the end of their days. We had accountability for our interaction and readiness at church. Just showing up wasn’t enough.
That accountability was exactly what we needed to help grow our relationship with God. We needed to know we had support and people willing to call us out and help us when we were headed down the wrong path.
Unfortunately, we suffered years of stagnant growth and naps during church because we didn’t know what we were missing. We thought that being unenthusiastic about God was normal.
Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV “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.”
Boy, we were wrong. While what we had experienced at churches up until this point is common, it is not what God tells us is normal. We are supposed to be filled with joy and love for one another. The church should be modeling God’s kingdom on earth. Yet, we were unknown in all the churches we had previously gone to.
How did we Find Biblical community that helped us thrive?
Honestly, we got really lucky. Adam had been following an entrepreneur (Dale Partridge) on social media before we even started dating that lived in my home town. As the years progressed, that same entrepreneur gave up his business ventures to pursue full-time ministry. While at the same time in our personal lives Adam and I had gotten engaged and were planning his move across the country to my home town (we dated long-distance).
Once he was in Oregon he reached out to the Dale and scheduled a time for lunch. He had secretly been dreaming of having Dale mentor him ever since he knew he was making the move. The meeting did not go as planned however, Dale told him boldly that we were not living how God desired us too.
I was at our house well all of this went down. When Adam returned he blurted out, “we need to get married.” I had previously been having some heart convictions on how we were living, so I was all in. Granted, I was morbidly afraid to tell my family (I hadn’t graduated college yet). They literally told Adam, “yes, as long as she finishes college” when he asked if for their permission to marry me.
Needless to say, I had to practice not giving into my people-pleasing skills. We broke the news and did what was right by God. Since then we have joined our home church and have been a part of an AMAZING community that is devoted to each other.
How can You Find Community?
I know what you’re thinking, “this all sounds great… but how can I find community?” While finding a community can be immensely hard there are ways. You just might have to get out of your comfort zone and have some misses first.
1) Try Smaller Churches
It’s so easy to get lost in the crowd when you’re attending a large church. When you find a smaller gathering people will notice new faces. You’re more likely to get connected and introduced to people without having to go out of your way.
2) Make the Initiative
Biblical community is the opposite of invisibility.
Don’t think that just showing up to a church is enough. It’s not. You can’t expect people to be willing to come up to you if you aren’t willing to go up to them. Get to church early or stay late so you can make introductions and invite people into your home.
We are supposed to sharpen one another (Proverbs 27:17) and build each other up. Make sure you aren’t seeking to go unnoticed in church, but rather you are seeking to be known and know others intimately. This can be really intimidating at first but it will help you grow like wildfire!
3) Volunteer at Christian Organizations
Anytime you can get out of your house and meet people your chances of finding community goes up! With something like volunteering, if you specifically volunteer with a faith-based organization you are likely going to be meeting like-minded people. You will also have the opportunity to be an example of God’s love for people that may not know him yet.
4) Join or Create a Bible Study
Even a small church of only 60 people can still seem overwhelming. Once you’ve found a church you’d like to commit to, join small groups that your church offers, or create your own. Many people don’t attend outside of church commitments, so you will have narrowed down the people you are surrounded by to people that are interested in biblical community.
5) Join Online Communities
You can find a ton of Christian communities on Facebook pages. Just type in Christian “homemaker” or Christian “blank” and you’ll find communities for people in life stages similar to you. Once you join these groups you can create close relationships online, and you can see if anyone lives locally near you.
Just make sure that if you do decide to meet up in person you are safe about it. While these are Christian groups you never know if someone is pretending to be someone they aren’t. So, only meet up in public spaces.