“This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.” ~1 Corinthians 12:25-27.
For the past few years, my family and I have been traveling to Tulsa for the Victory Conference. This event happens once a year. The church has a spirit of excellence on them. Excellence is displayed in everything they do.
During this conference, they bring in big name speakers/preachers to deliver a word from God.
Here’s a list of the ones we have heard during one of these conferences and I would recommend listening to anything they have to say:
- Dr. Dharius Daniels – Head Pastor of Change Church
- Bishop T. D. Jakes – Head Pastor of the Potter’s House
- Pastors John and Lisa Bevere – Authors and founders of Ministry International
- Pastors Paul and Ashley Daugherty – Head Pastors of Victory Church
- Dr. John C. Maxwell – Author and Public Speaker
- Dr. Bill Johnson – Head Pastor of Bethel Church
- Pastor Steven Furtick – Head Pastor of Elevation Church
- Pastor Robert Madu – Speaker
- Pastor Alex Seeley – Head Pastor of the Belonging Co.
- Jentezen Franklin – Author
- Pastor Craig Groeschel – Head Pastor of Life Church
And I am sure there were others. All of these men and women were empowered by the Holy Spirit and it was evident by the demeanor and words. I am aware of what others have said about many of them but their actions emulate Christ.
Their house is full from the family they have created.
None of these pastors, speakers, and authors started off as having a huge community. They created it. Obviously, it has grown to extremes of thousands of followers, but still with their own small community.
We have done them same for our family. My husband and I moved from Phoenix, Arizona to Albuquerque, New Mexico over 20 years ago. We know many people and often run into them all over the state but we only have a small community. Our community is more like a family then our biological family is. We do life with them.
There have been numerous times that my husband and I have been out of town and they have been our support. These people have brought over meals, stayed at our home to take care of our kids and pets, and have travelled with us. Each year, for this conference, we get an Airbnb together. In tight quarters, we have family style meals, stay up and chat at night, and play board games. Most people wouldn’t think to stay in the same house with people they are not related to.
This is years of development.
Our family helped plant a church around 8 years ago. The head pastors have become our family and treat my kids like their grandchildren. It feels like second nature for them to be at our kids’ birthday parties, attend my son’s football games, or watch my daughter in her first guitar recital. They are the emergency contact numbers for our kids’ school and the power of attorney for our kids if something happens to both of us. Last year, when my husband and I went to my sister’s funeral, they attended to an important need for us. My, then 14 year old, daughter was going to be turning 15 while we were gone. Her auntie passed away right before her birthday and we had to be gone on her birthday. They threw her a party on our behalf.
It’s just what a family member would do.
Over this past week, we have enjoyed this uninterrupted time with all of our extended (church) family. In our Airbnb, each group had their own space in the house with a bathroom, living room area, and kitchen and dinning room space. Even though there was a lot of rooms for everyone to spread out, we typically stuck close to each other. A few nights ago we played Wahoo the board game. Last night, we played Cards Christians Like, which is a card game kind of like Cards Against Humanity. Tonight we will be playing Wahoo, again.
No matter the circumstance, they are there. Each member of this family we created, out of our community, is different. Every member has their own strengths and weaknesses, some have personalities that don’t match up well, and others just speak each others’ language well. One thing is for certain, they are family and belong together.
My children, even my adult daughters, have been in community with this group for nearly 9 years. We have added some new members but since they have fit right in, my kids have accepted them as their family. One in particular, who they feel drawn to, is Aunt Koko. That is not really her name, just what her actually niece and nephew call her. She is such a joy-filled person and her personality is so infectious that they have claimed her as their own. When they know she is coming to visit or that we are going to get to see her they get so excited, probably because she spoils them. She is the aunt that every kid wants in their life.
Community is important because it can develop into something greater.
I just want to challenge you to find your community.
Spend time loving on people who flock to you. You have something they need and most likely they will have something you have been needing. Find your community and create a family. As a person who moved from one state to another, without any biological family around, take my word for it…because it will change your life.