August 31, 2021

Reed's Blog: Community Can Change Your Life

Why should you commit to one more thing in your schedule when life is already chaotic?

I believe community could change your life. It changed mine.
Community is the result of intentional, faith-based friendships held by people choosing to follow Jesus and choosing to run together for a season. This is something that God talks a lot about in Scripture, with over 50 instructions for followers of Jesus to live out commands and principles with “one another.”
Community forces us to grow. When people choose to share deeper parts of their lives with one another, it creates opportunities for both meaningful friendships and encouragement as well as conflict. Choosing to walk through both the encouragement and differing perspectives helps us grow as well rounded individuals and keeps us from forming our thoughts, habits, and life choices in isolation, which is dangerous.
Ever felt lonely? You’re not, well, alone. A recent survey by Cigna confirmed that 3 out of 5 people experience significant loneliness, and this feeling of isolation is linked to physical and mental health struggles. I deeply believe this is because we were not created to go through life alone. God said that “It is not good for man to be alone,” and we can see science and statistics back this up. Joining a group doesn’t guarantee friendships for life, but it is a great way to meet people who want their lives to head in the same direction that you want your life to go in -- towards God. You may make a new best friend through a small group, or maybe you’ll just meet a few more people who want to grow closer to God like you do.
I believe that, deep down, everyone wants to be fully known and fully loved. We all want to be fully known for who we are, scars and all, but we’re afraid that if people see all of us, they’ll reject us. It’s easier to be partly known, and keep that last 10% hidden, but if we do that, we can’t ever be fully loved. Joining a group, a community, is a great place to grow in your faith and knowledge, but it’s also a place where you can be fully known, then fully loved, and you can give that same experience to others.
Joining a group could change your life, and I’ll vouch for it because a group changed mine. Around seven years ago I joined a group of engineers and graphic design artists I had basically nothing in common with except for a desire to know Jesus better. Those seven men became some of my closest friends for about two years, and I still think of them often. God used that season to make us all better men and better leaders, and I know He can do the same for you.

If any of this resonates with you, come to a “no commitment required” event called GroupConnect on Wednesday, September 8 at The Ridge from 6:00 – 7:30. We’ve got food, childcare, and an opportunity for you to meet group leaders and potential new friends who will create a community with you. We’d love to have you! To help us plan ahead, would you be willing to sign up here?

Whatever it takes,

Reed Chapman I grew up in Wichita Falls, Texas to an incredible family, and chose to follow Jesus at an early age. I grew up in the spotlight due to advanced education, and graduated from a public high school at 15. I then attended Midwestern State University and earned a bachelors in Accounting before moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to pursue my Masters of Divinity. I began working full time at a church at 20 and was married at 21, and stayed in Texas for a few years before moving out to Arizona, and I’ve recently moved to Indiana to work at The Ridge. What I Do I get to serve as the Connections Pastor here at The Ridge, which means leading the first impressions, groups, care, and follow-up departments as well as teaching a portion of the time. I’m passionate about seeing people surrender more of their life to Christ and taking steps to become more like Him. Life Before The Ridge Before coming to The Ridge, I served at multiple churches in Texas and Arizona and enjoyed working jobs in different industries. I received a Bachelors in Accounting at Midwestern State University and got a Masters of Divinity from SWBTS. I’m still engaged in a lifelong pursuit to create the world’s greatest breakfast sandwich. Words I Live By Success is measured by faithfulness. There’s so much in life that’s beyond our control, and we can tend to place too much value on power, pennies and pleasure. We don’t “win” by being the best, we “win” by being faithful in whatever situation God puts us in and by obediently following His lead. When I’m Not at Work, I… can be found cooking, playing board games or sports, or looking for the nearest, newest adventure to chase. I’ll try (almost) anything once! Something That May Surprise You I am a fanatical Manchester United supporter, and I’ll get up very early on Saturday mornings to watch European soccer games.