12 Feb Storyline Core Values: Authentic Community
Editor’s note: Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at the four core values of Storyline Fellowship: Relational Evangelism, Authentic Community, Intentional Bible Training and Teamwork. Join us each Thursday here on the blog as we unpack these topics with our staff.
You know that saying, “You can’t choose your family.” Well, if you could, I would choose mine anyway. I love them deeply and dearly and overall think they are pretty spectacular. I grew up in a close-knit, loving, imperfect but grace-filled home. We screwed up often but there was always grace enough to cover our ugliness. As an adult, I can see what a gift that was mostly because I haven’t lived near them since I left for college at seventeen years old.
Knowing such rich relationship and also knowing its absence is, I think, what makes me yearn for family away from family. Community – honest, messy, bare your soul, drive thirty minutes to make sure you have Sonic after a traumatic life event, ugly cry, ugly laugh, call you out when you’re acting like a jerk, say you’re sorry, God-breathed community. This is what I ache for, what I push toward, what I believe God desires for His people.
It IS messy, though. It’s easy to say, “I just wish I had real community,” until real community means swallowing your pride and putting your own selfish desires aside for the good of the relationship. It’s hard because community with people who you didn’t grow up beside looks different. It requires more of us – more trust, more vulnerability, more sacrifice, more love.
Right about now you might be throwing out a sarcastic eye roll followed by, “Wow, that sounds great. Sign me up.”
I see what you’re saying. I am absolutely with you. Hard and scary don’t sound super appealing until you see what comes alongside them. Words like full and known. Something happens as we plow through the mess of human relationship with the Holy Spirit as our guide. It is even more beautiful than the bond of our own blood-lines.
This new community, laid out in scripture and ordained by God, is holy and eternal and so, so worth it.