I’ve been in church my whole life and have always known about the truth of the gospel, but I decided to trust Jesus when I was ten years old at church camp. One of the counselors said, “Being a Christian is not just believing that Jesus died for us and then living our lives however we want. Being a Christian means following Jesus—living how he teaches us to live, and pointing others to him every way we can.” At that point, I trusted that Jesus was God and what he says about how I should live.
Most of my friends didn’t have a relationship with Jesus throughout high school. During that season of life, I developed a passion for apologetics because I enjoyed talking with my friends and helping them understand what Christianity is and why it’s so important. But I didn’t have very many substantive relationships with other believers. In college, I did make some great Christian friends, but they were spread out; each year, I would find myself getting close with one or two people, but because of age differences, one of us would graduate and move on.
"Let us consider how to stir up one another to love
and good works, not neglecting to meet together,
as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another."
After moving to Greenville, I spent six months in another church, where it was challenging to get connected. Getting to know so many people within the community of Fellowship Greenville has been a real blessing. I’ve found biblical connections through my community group, various Bible studies, and the young adults group. Meaningful friendships have been made with thoughtful believers who want to live and serve well and encourage others to do the same. It’s so much easier to get up early to read your Bible or come to a mid-week study when you know others in the community care about you. The Christian life is not meant to be done alone—we’re all better connected.
While serving with the young adults group, I’ve been able to build relationships that likely wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Being part of a church where people are excited to come together to worship, talk about life, and dive into Scripture is encouraging. It has reminded me to be thankful for God’s goodness in guiding me to this community and allowing me, a wretched sinner, to serve his purposes (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 1 Timothy 1:15-17).
God has shown me how his ways are better than mine. I’m a fairly introverted, low-maintenance person; I don’t feel like I need many friends, or stuff, to get by. While I think there are good sides to this, one of the downsides is that I’m more likely to isolate myself than what is healthy for a person. Becoming part of a church community where people care about each other and where I’m expected to be present and open about what’s going on in my life has helped me move past a “getting by” type of daily life. It’s not that every day is perfect, but more and more days, I’m able to find joy in something from another member of this church body. All of these moments have led to a life that’s doing more than just “getting by.”