To Know and Be Known

To Know and Be Known

by Bryant Lee, City Church Elder

A desire to belong is foundational to the human experience. This need should not surprise us, as our Creator exists in the community of the Trinity, and we have been created in God’s image. The challenge, of course, lies in discovering the process we must undertake to find, develop, and rest in healthy, life-giving community. Fortunately, that process is not onerous, and the path is not hidden. According to the Gospel of Matthew, “Ask, and it will be given to you.” In my own experience, the most effective way to find community is simply to ask for community.

When my wife, Sarah, and I had been married about a year, work took us to New York. Newlyweds and away from friends and family, we found ourselves without our familiar social infrastructure; the results were destabilizing. But then, we found a church in the city that wanted to invest in us and find the small community we needed. Over the course of a year, we watched God grow our small group from one married couple (just us!) to six couples that would meet regularly, attend worship together, and generally invest in each other’s lives. Interestingly, we all came from different backgrounds and various parts of the country, and we were all involved in different vocations or courses of study. God melted away these differences as our desire to belong brought us together in a community of believers that we needed. These couples became our dear friends during this phase of our life, and we continue to be involved in each other’s lives and families, even as life as taken us away from New York.

Later, after we moved to Houston and became involved at City Church, a friend invited me to join his Focus Group. While I initially wanted to insist that I was too “busy”—work, family obligations, kids’ activities—to make time for another appointment on my calendar, he quickly reminded me that this group met at 6:00am. The only sacrifice I would have to make to join would be sleep; how could I say no to that offer? Joining that Focus Group, though, set me on a path of deep and meaningful fellowship with other men at City Church that I would not have otherwise known. Not only did we grow together as a group, but I also grew individually in my faith. This focused time each week with this like-minded group allowed me to become a better husband, father, friend, mentor, coach, and I eventually grew to become a co-leader of the Focus Group. I would have missed this development and these relationships had I indulged my “no” reflex; thank God for my friend and his recognition of my need for community.

City Church desires for you to find Gospel-centered community in Houston. From Sunday services to City Kids and City Youth to Community Groups and Focus Groups, there are many different ways for you and your family to come to belong. If you feel outside or unplugged or distant from the church, please raise your hand and ask for community; I promise that your life will be changed.

Bryant Lee
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