Being part of a spiritual community can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself. In
the past few years, it seems that is not the "norm". Many churches have fewer attendees. I'm reminded of
what apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12 where most of the chapter is devoted to comparing the church
to a human body with different body parts working together in unity and unison. That's what we are.
That's who we are. One body with many parts, all connected to the Creator of the universe.
Why would Paul explicitly go into such detail to show how connected we are? To answer that, maybe we
should discuss the advantages of community. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, King Solomon said, "Two are better
than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow:
but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he hath not another to help him." Being part of a spiritual
community assures us, we are not alone in our spiritual journey. When we see all the similar struggles,
trials and victories, it helps us have a deeper understanding of life and God's purpose for our lives.
People go through so many heartbreaking situations and, to me, it is comforting to know you have friends
who will pray with you, and for you. When we go through challenging times, having (or seeking for) a
body of believers who you can fellowship with will provide much-needed comfort. Not only do you need
them, but they need you. We gain mutual inspiration and encouragement from each other. We need each
other. It's that simple.
From the day God created Adam and said, "He needed a help mate", I believe, it became a universal law
that God created us to live in community. To spend time loving and encouraging and helping each other.
In addition, to me, we benefit mentally and emotionally from spiritual community when we worship. We
draw off the strength and joy of each other. Go to church where you get strength and joy from people
around you. If you don't, it won't take long before you begin to feel far away from God. When that
happens, we tend to withdraw. Go where you grow!
Personally, I feel we attend church to rebuild and maintain our connection to God. To keep it alive. To
keep our prayer life alive. To keep faith alive. To keep us opening our Bible more than just a few times a
Having a spiritual community also helps us let go of things we can't change and let God. In I Peter 5:7 he
tells us, "Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you." These words serve as a reminder that God is
not far away at any time. We can't carry the heavy burden and God doesn't want us to. He said, "cast".
Let go of them. God cares about our struggles, our doubts and even our fears.
Sometimes, all we need is a long walk to clear our anxiety and bring clarity to our souls. I encourage you,
and even myself, to find moments when you can get alone with God and let your heart be still in His
presence. In those quiet moments, sprinkled with thanksgiving to God, we begin to see He is right there
ready to pick us up and carry us when we can't carry the heavy burden. Other times, you will need a
friend who can give you a bear hug and tell you they understand. I'd like to encourage all Christians to
not neglect your spiritual community because there you can find inspiration and encouragement.
As you know, the journey of faith has never been without its difficulties, so cling to the people God has
placed in your life to encourage you. And, let's not forget to return the favor. We need mutual inspiration
and mutual encouragement. Go where you grow.