How do you grow your relationship with God through community?

@Shawn_Hart, I recently watched the replay of your ReFresh talk called “Living as Sent People”. Great stuff first of all. My question is on the concept of cultivating a relationship with God. I saw in your presentation slide the strategy of devotion to knowing God through prayer, His Word, His mission, and community. Can you go into more detail on how you’ve used this yourself, particularly how it relates to community? The first thing that comes to mind is your local church community. How did you start there and expand your relationship with God?

Thanks, brother.

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@Jamie_Hobbs, thanks so much for taking the time to watch the talk I gave at ReFresh. I am glad you enjoyed it and I really appreciate you pushing into this particular point.

You are exactly right about the local church. A church that takes prayer, scripture, mission, and community seriously should be a priority for all Christians. In that talk since I was envisioning the students going off to campus, I remained more vague, (which on second thought might not have have been the best idea) because of the various choices students are faced with on campus. I wanted them to have a filter for how they prioritize their time, keeping the listed avenues as the most important things to engage in. With all of the groups college students have to choose from, I want them to choose one that has prayer, scripture, and mission as a focus.

More to your question about how this has worked out in my life. At a personal level, I try to maintain a consistent pattern of scripture reading and prayer for my personal walk with the Lord and in my prayer times I am asking God to provide me opportunities to serve others and to share the gospel. For me, the mission starts in prayer because this is where I get the correct perspective of who I am, whose I am, and what I am here for. Since I am only about four months at our church, we are still working on fostering community, but the first thing I did when we landed at this church was join a 6:30am Bible study because I figured the type of people I want to get to know are those who will wake up early to study the Bible with a church community.

I feel the most growth I have had in my walk with God was when I was living on mission with a group where we studied the Bible together, prayed together and shared stories about our efforts to reach out to our communities. I am sad to report that I have a difficult time finding Christians who are willing to live this way because people are so busy with other things like sports, Netflix, etc. Part of the gospel in Acts 2 is the gift of a new community and I think this is an aspect of the gospel that we miss in the American church. I hope this answers your question in some way.

Shawn

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That pretty well sums it up. Thank you for your response. It seems that your prayer is my prayer.

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