Why Community is Important by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

I had not laughed that hard in a long time—and I was in school!

This past week I was in class with the students in my doctoral cohort. We gather together for one week a semester and it is an intense time of learning, but also presenting. In between, there is a time of connection—and yes, sometimes silliness.

As I reflected on this time with the other students, I realized there is a Holy Spirit electricity between us. Because we have been called to higher education, the LORD is infusing us with his dynamic presence and energy. I also deduced that I will not be able to finish this advanced degree without relying on both God and this community. We are in this together.

Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”

In many ways the Pandemic stole community from us. For those who are still isolating, is it time to reengage? We need each other.

I love to learn. This week I connected with teaching on theological methods, but because of the way my brain is wired, struggled with our other class on quantitative analysis. I will need to work harder to get that aspect of school down but know that if I need some help, my classmates will be there for me.

The Apostle Paul taught about the importance of community and how we are to function within the body of Christ: “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:10, NLT). Each time we are together, my love for the members of our doctoral cohort grows, and while we are different, I appreciate each individual’s unique gifts and callings.

We can learn from community and we can also support each other’s endeavors. I know the situation in Ukraine is not far from anyone’s mind. Our classmate, Ann, is in ministry in Austria, only eight hours from the Ukraine border and already knows she is taking in two refugees, plus whomever else needs shelter. Because of Ann’s heart, I guarantee she will have a houseful of refugees before it’s over with. If you would like to provide for Ann’s outreach to Ukrainian refugees, here’s the link to contribute: Sr. Mary Paul Friemel — Missions of Hope

We can accomplish so much more together so don’t go it alone. If you are tired of feeling lonely, find a community. It’s the best way to thrive.

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