On the Journey Together

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 As I perused an email my husband sent me the other day, I noticed his signature at the bottom of the page along with four words that made me stop short: “On the journey together.” It made me think “What exactly does that mean?

This journey called Christianity is a process, not a product. As we meander through our spiritual walks, it is essential we have people to help navigate along the way. 

This has never been more apparent to me than my time leading a writer’s group through http://www.incourage.me. I volunteered to lead a group in the hopes to share the knowledge I have gleaned from three years of writing. However, I didn’t expect I would learn just as much as I have taught. Here are some things I have learned from being in community with other believers (and writers):

1) Give As Much As You Get– At the beginning of my time with my group, Holley Gerth’s book You’re Made For a God Sized Dream was just released. I had been eyeing the book for weeks, but tough financial times prohibited me from buying it. One of the group members (whom i had never met before) offered to buy the book for me. Astonished, I asked why. She replied, “Consider it an investment in your ministry.” When we enter into community with each other, we invest our time into them, in the hopes to produce the lasting fruit of the Spirit. 

2) Community Helps You Battle the Storms Together- Whenever I read the story of Jesus sending out His disciples in Luke 9, my mind immediately parallels it with the story of Noah building the ark to prepare for the impending flood. Noah sends the animals into the ark and Jesus sends out his disciples “two by two.” Why? In both instances, God wants us to reproduce together. When times get tough and the storms rage (much like before the flood), having someone with you helps you to do the work necessary even through the tough times. A pastor friend of mine once said, “When I take the time to mentor someone and invest in their lives, more than likely they will do what they are supposed to do.” The accountability that occurs within community helps spur us on towards love and good deeds.

3) Community Helps Sharpen You– Whenever someone poses a question to our group Facebook page, I often try to offer advice and help. Although I may not agree if someone offers an idea contrary to mine, each suggestion makes me think about how to apply it practically to my life. People who think differently than me help me to see things in a way I would not have before. They”sharpen” me (Proverbs 27:17) and I am better writer and person because of it.

If you are looking for a community, try the (in)RL, an online event where people from around the US gather together to commune together. Want more info? Click on this link to find out more: 

http://inrl.incourage.me/inrl

To see a video, click here:

http://youtu.be/Y-6yMAUG32I

How does your community help you in your spiritual journey?

 

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3 responses »

  1. I’ve been learning so many of the same things through my (in)courager group for working moms. It’s such a gift to learn and grow together. I’m also starting to re-learn my need for in-real-life connections, as some of my close friendships have drifted since having kids. Community helps me to see the work that God is doing in others and in myself, and to ultimately know Him better. It compels me to sacrifice and give, and blesses me with joy in return. Thanks for your words, Michelle! It’s a gift to encourage alongside you!

  2. As one of those blessed girls in your group, I want to thank you. Your wisdom and encouragement mean so much to me. I may not be on my way to publishing (or even considering) a book, but your passion flows to each of us. Funny that you could’ve been in my group while I was in yours. 🙂

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