The above title is actually an African proverb I came across while watching a movie about the “Lost Boys” of Sudan. As these children, ages 5-12, were faced with insurmountable obstacles to survive, they banded together to create a family and walk more than 700 miles to safety. This “family bond” was a major contributor to not only their survival, but also their ability to truly live.
I get it, I really do. We live in a culture that values the individual above all things. And yes, there are advantages to being alone. We really can go fast. It can make it easier to obtain certain goals or dreams. It doesn’t put us in awkward positions of choice. You know; “Do I do what’s best for the other or do I do what's best for me?” Those decisions can really be difficult to figure out.
But the truth is, the success of going alone yields fast but short lived results. And when it comes to faith, what we learn is that alone begins to erode our faith. It begins to diminish our commitment to faith. Fact is, if we want to stay faithful to our Lord, the great I AM, our Creator, then I need you. We need each other. We need our church family. Proverbs 27:17 tells us that, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Tony Campolo puts it this way, “You need to be surrounded by people who in fact revitalize your faith.”
We live in a world that looks at what we believe and calls it absurd. We need each other to strengthen, deepen, challenge, and encourage our faith in the one true God. Alone we may go fast, but it requires together so we can go far!
What about you, what is your greatest fear about engaging community?
Or, what is the greatest benefit you have experienced because you engaged community?