House Camps Help to Build Community

Senior Learning Community Thursday 08 February 2018

Community is life-giving—and essential to following Christ. Scripture says that it is because we’re “better together than we are alone.” (Romans 12:4–5)

Last week our Years 7 - 12 students and staff attended our first House Camps. Greene and Carmichael headed to Noosa, while Flynn and Taylor ventured to Tyalgum. Despite some bad weather, both camps provided a great opportunity for lots of Life Group interaction, and began our journey of building stronger community within the Senior Learning Community.

In preparing for the change in our Community structure, a lot of time was spent considering “Why” and I wanted to share more about the rationale for our desire to build and strengthen community.

A sense of community is not just a 'human' need, it is a spiritual one, and after significant research, we decided to apply a framework with foundations from Stewardship.com, as the basis of 'Building our Community.'

When God first formed Adam from the dust, he was the only human on the planet. Can you imagine how lonely he must have felt? But it didn’t last long. God said it wasn’t good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18) and decided to give Adam some company—so He created Eve. And that was the first little community the world ever saw.

Now, 8 billion people later, Earth doesn’t feel lonely. People are everywhere! Even so, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in our own lives that we don’t take the time to really get to know others. We might mingle between classes or chat after school, but that isn’t often real, authentic community.

Community is God’s desire for us—and a sign of a mature faith. Because at the end of the day, when we grow in our relationships with others, we’re growing in relationship with Him!

The Bible has a lot to say about the value of community and here are two compelling reasons:

1. Community is Encouraging
Being in community gives you the chance to be around people at different stages of their faith journey—and to help them bear their burdens (Galatians 6:2). That’s awesome, because everyone has something to teach and to learn. In fact, it creates the ideal environment to be a Barnabas (friend), pursue a Paul (teacher), or train a Timothy (student). What it comes down to is that we should continually look for ways to lift each other up, learn from one another, and be the friend each of us needs, just as Hebrews describes community.

2. Community is Fun
Community should never feel boring or forced. In fact, it should be the exact opposite. Psalm 133:1 (NIV) tells us, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.” Our culture can sometimes portray Christians as a pretty boring bunch. But that couldn’t (or shouldn’t) be further from the truth. Believers can be weird sometimes, witty and just really fun to be around. Yes, community has a higher purpose but it should also be enjoyable. Building Community in Life Group helps build resilience and capacity in our young people.

And let us consider how we may encourage 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 more as you see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24–25 NIV)