You are officially four weeks into your summer. By this time you have started your job, are in the swing of summer classes, or have simply begun your summer routine. If you are anything like me then it is also about this time that the enemy tries to creep in and tell you that you don’t have any friends for the summer because you are home, or you work too much and don’t have time, or because everyone else is gone for the summer. He pokes and prods to tell you that you are lonely and isolated. I’m here to tell you that’s a lie.
Because of the change that summer brings our sense of community tends to also change with the season. Weather we are still in Athens, at home, working at a camp, or traveling the world we usually aren’t around the people that we spend the most time with during the school year. And that can be scary…But God didn’t design us to live in community during the school year. He designed for us to live in community, always. As members of the body of Christ, God designed us to rely on Him through each other; To live out our full identity in community with fellow believers and to be loved on, encouraged, and supported through our family. That includes you and that includes now.
The beauty of summer is the opportunity to get to know people you wouldn’t always have the chance to hang out with and to build new relationships when you have more time to invest in them. Despite feeling scattered from your “people” this summer I challenge you to find community wherever you are and to steward the community that God has already given you well. Keep in touch with the people you love. Be intentional about calling your friends from college and plan a trip to go visit someone this summer. Invite someone new to get dinner. Be bold. And know you’re worth it.
Let’s get practical.
The first summer survival tip we gave y’all was to attend a local church. That is a great starting place for community. You can find community in the body of believers right where you are by plugging into a small group, asking someone to get coffee, or attending other church functions.
Be intentional: Fear is often why we don’t ask other people to hang out. We assume they don’t like us or they are too busy and we are fear of being rejected. By being intentional with someone you are saying no to fear and are showing someone else that they are worth your time and worth the risk. Chances are that text will make someone’s day.
Know the truth:
1: You have already been accepted.
“I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God.” Isaiah 41:9-10
2: You were designed to live in community.
“And let us consider how we may put 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” -Hebrews 10:24-25
“How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” -Psalm 133
God, I pray that everyone’s eyes who glance at this page who are in need of community this summer would find it, easily. I pray for practical opportunities to spend time with people and for a courage and boldness to be intentional despite fear.
If you are in Athens for the summer and are in need of community the first summer Wesley is THIS WEEK! That is a great place to be surrounded by other believers and put your new boldness to use. And June 17th there will be a game night at Wesley for anyone on LEAD/grow!! Community just for YOU.
You’re worth it.
Becca Johnstone, media