Have you ever felt like you’re just going through the motions of life? Or that you’re living every day on repeat—over and over? I know I have. There have been seasons where I’ve felt so alone and lonely that I started feeling empty. I was alive, but I didn’t feel like I was actually living. I knew there had to be something more, but every day felt like the same mundane trap. Can you relate?
One day, I read Romans 1:12, which reminds us that through community we can all be encouraged and build each other up. When I first read this, I knew that’s what I was missing! Paul, the writer of Romans, knew he had strengths that could encourage his friends, and he knew that his friends were strong in areas he was not. I was living life in isolation and hoping I would find my way out, but this verse shows that it is through Christ-centered relationships that believers can grow. So, I joined a LifeGroup at my church and prayed that God would put me in a friendship like Paul had.
LifeGroups are simply groups of friends that you grow, laugh, and serve with. They can be family, church friends, coworkers—anyone! What matters is the intentional time we spend together. My first LifeGroup had eight people in it, and within weeks they were eight of the best friends I had ever had. I didn’t feel alone and lonely anymore because, for the first time in my life, I felt inspired, connected, and happy!
I know the COVID-19 season has not been easy for anyone. In a matter of just a few months the world has been thrown into chaos, isolation, and a deep sense of fear. Interestingly enough, this was very true of the world in the first century. Wars, religious persecution, poverty, and disease were around every corner, but the believers in Acts did not let that slow them down.
In chapter 2 of Acts we see Jesus followers spending time together, sharing meals, and worshiping together. They did this not only because they needed it, but also because they wanted everyone in their city to know who Jesus was. The beautiful thing is that the community they created inspired everybody around them!
Their joy, happiness, and connectedness excited others to the point that they wanted to know who God was too. Community can do more to overcome chaos than chaos can do to overcome the community. Every single one of us needs a group of friends who will encourage us, pray for us, laugh alongside us, and lead us closer to Jesus. So, where do you look?
3 Easy Ways to Find Friends
1. Go to church. The church is the hope of the world, and it is full of people who love you and want to help you grow closer to God. If you can’t physically attend church, you can join Life.Church Online and connect with others digitally. But don’t stop there. We don’t just go to church. We are the church! Consider finding a place to use your gifts to serve at church or at Life.Church Online. Serving is one of the best places to find purpose and to help you find your people.
2. Join a LifeGroup. Regardless of your schedule or interests, there are LifeGroups for everyone. You can join a group that meets during the week so that you can attend church with them on the weekend. If you can’t meet physically, you can join a digital group. Digital groups have lots of different formats, but you can connect through YouVersion Bible Plans, meet via video chat, or even attend church together through Facebook Watch Parties. No matter your circumstances, there is a LifeGroup for you!
3. Start a LifeGroup. Leading a LifeGroup is simple, yet so rewarding! When you lead a group, you get to inspire others and be the friend others long for. You don’t have to be a Bible professor to lead a group; all you have to do is create a space for others. They don’t have to be only church friends, either! LifeGroups can be a collective of friends, neighbors, church family, and coworkers. In fact, sometimes someone else will find church because they first found a group of friends. That’s why LifeGroups, just like the small groups the believers formed in Acts 2, can be a great way to introduce people to the gospel in a less intimidating way.
In this season of doubt and fear, your community will be what makes or breaks your faith and the faith of those around us. You don’t have to feel alone and lonely. The believers in Acts 2 continued to meet daily in a chaotic world, and it not only strengthened their faith and helped them stay connected, but it also brought others into God’s Kingdom. So, know this: You aren’t alone.