Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
When I was in high school, I went to youth group every week, twice a week. We would meet on Sunday nights to do a Bible study where we would have the opportunity to share what we had been learning and connect scripture to our lives. On Wednesday nights we would meet at the church and listen to our youth pastor share a sermon. I also attended a weekly morning Bible study with some other Christian girls and during the summer, we had an all girls Bible study that met weekly as well. On top of all of that, I hung out with these same kids at school every day.
You may be thinking, “Now that’s a lot of church!” Looking back now, I don’t think I saw it that way at the time. I just know that I was a good kid growing up. I listened to my parents, read my Bible, and generally just did the right thing. I truly believe that I can attribute that to the friends I had and the way I spent my time. I was so connected to God.
Life as an adult has not been filled with quite so much church, but I will say, it has been full of faithful friends who have made all the difference in my life. My mom used to warn us as teenagers about the friends we chose and the company we kept:
Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.
Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character.
1 Corinthians 15:33
Just because I am an adult now, does not make these words any less powerful, in fact, they may be more so. That is why choosing friends who spur you on, pray for you and with you, and are there for you can be such an amazing blessing.
Being in fellowship with other believers is what God calls us to do. We will sharpen one another, pray together, encourage one another, disciple together, and help each other.
Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
Being in a believer community does not mean that you are just friends at church or that you only fellowship at church. Being in a believer community means that you seek out and nurture friendships with other believers. These people become your tribe and you can grow these friendships anywhere.
I have been so blessed this year by where God plopped my little family down to stretch our roots and raise up our babies. Not just because of the great church we found or our amazing jobs, but MOST importantly, because I am surrounded by strong-faithed people EVERYDAY. I am in constant fellowship with these believers who I pray with and for and I have to say, life is so much sweeter because of it.
Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.