This summer, I got the chance to spend three weeks at a summer camp serving as a lifeguard. It was an incredible experience, but it would not have been anything without the fifty strangers that quickly became some of my closest friends in the short span of three weeks. Fifty college kids who didn’t know each other quickly became vulnerable with one another: sharing stories, tough experiences, laughs, and tears. Our coordinator made it very clear that we would only be successful as a community if we focused on what we had in common. The only deep, lasting, genuine common characteristic that we shared was a faith in Jesus Christ.
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1 NIV
When God’s people live together in community, we should strive to work together, through Christ, to build a safe, open space upon the foundation of our faith in Jesus. That way, He will remain at the center of the community, and, like the verse talks about, we can live in unity through Him. God-centered community allows us to be held accountable by people that have our best interest at heart, and love us enough to help us confront our struggles and sins head-on, as God intended us to. They can help us bear our burdens (Galatians 6:2), and we can do so when they need us to. Life becomes sweeter, times together become more meaningful, and we are able to live fully with our brothers and sisters in Christ when God is at the center of our relationships with one another in community.
I know that so many people were wrapping our camp experience up in prayer even before we applied to serve, and no doubt, the Lord answered our prayers. The 50 strangers that came together for camp were so drastically different, yet we brought gifts and experiences to the table that fit together like a perfect puzzle. I firmly believe that we only fit together so perfectly because the Lord was our foundation for our friendship. As Romans 12:4 says, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”