God did not create us to live without the influences of biblical community in our lives. We lie to ourselves by saying that we are the reason that bad stuff is happening so we must deal with this alone. We lie to ourselves by saying that no one else would ever understand what we are going through because we are the only ones struggling with this. Those are lies, and our community in Sunday School can help us find the truth. Children need it. Students need it. Young adults need it. Single, married, divorced, widowed…we all need the truth that comes from being invested in real community in Sunday School to fight the lies of the enemy. Being real about our struggles brings life.
We need a community to celebrate with when things are going right. This is the fun part of life. Everyone seems to love a good party…until it is time to clean up, but only your true community stays to help after the party…when everyone else has left, and you’re all alone.
We also need community when we are grieving and struggling through the tough times. I used to be scared of the word “struggle,” but after the process of our son, Aiden’s adoption, I have chosen to embrace it. God has done some amazing things in my heart over the last 2 years, but I fought it for awhile.
Over the last 2 years, I have experienced more hurt, rejection, pain and discouragement than I have experienced in my entire life. But, God’s grace in those same moments of pain, have led to more real and raw conversations with Him that have led me to a greater understanding of His heart. I have never been more convinced of God’s promise in Philippians 1:6. Because of His great love for me, He will stop at nothing to redeem and rescue my heart.
Without some fantastic friends, Shana and I would be stuck somewhere between depression ditch and crazy town. God knew the exact times that we needed those friends the most and what they needed to say and do to encourage us through those dark times. I am absolutely convinced that we would not have survived life during these last couple of years if it were not for our group of faithful friends!
We met many of these friends through our church and serving in Sunday School. I want you to have what we have.
Here are some tangible ways to find these friends:
- Get connected with a Sunday School that will encourage you to follow Christ with everything that you are and challenge you to let God mold you by His grace.
- Be the one who instigates the conversations within your Sunday School to ensure that you know each other deeper than on a surface level only. It can be awkward at first but push through.
- Look to be the kind of friend that Proverbs describes as “sticking closer than a brother.” Have God’s perspective and compassion about those hurting around you. Don’t just pray but get involved when God leads. Stay after the “party” to help clean up, and you’ll find someone else that’s struggling too. Don’t just be there for the fun but be there for the hard times as well.
- If you feel like you don’t belong, try again or find a place to serve in a Sunday School class. Our church needs your heart and hands!