What Does a Christian Community Look Like?
When we talk about having a connected Christian community, we do not mean that life is one big party — we know it isn’t.
So what do we mean when we use the words “connected Christian community?”
Every year, people come to Grace College from all over the world. Most of them hear about Grace through some sort of an invitation; it may be a relative, an alumnus, a friend, a current student, a postcard, an email, or even a social media post. Whatever the medium, when you respond to the invitation, you become a part of our community.
From the very moment you choose Grace, you become connected.
Connection has been paramount to the rich history of Grace College & Theological Seminary, dating all the way back to 1937.
Our 1,900 undergraduate, online, and seminary students find connection to each other through countless majors, clubs, groups, and sports. Our students connect to community members through internship opportunities and church mentorships. And a connection exists even between the students on campus today and alumni whose names only live on the side of campus buildings.
The ways of Grace have united our alumni, our faculty, our staff, and our students for eighty-plus years.
While we pride ourselves on this tight-knit Christian community, it’s impossible to know everyone by name who walks our campus and calls Grace home. So when news arises that part of the student body is dealing with trauma — it doesn’t matter if you personally know everyone involved — our connected Christian community is moved to respond as though it is our own pain.
We pray together.
We mourn and weep together.
We look to God to be our source of strength.
In Psalm 46, the psalmist encourages us to ‘be still and know that [God] is God!’ The past several days on campus have been filled with a stillness and a quiet peace and calm, that can only be gifted from God.
The question will always be asked in trying times such as these, how do we move on? The answer is, we don’t. As Christians, we recognize that God gives, and God takes away. While we fully acknowledge that the name of the Lord is to be praised, we will forge ahead only through the grace of Jesus.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
So we don’t move on, but we do move forward.
The knowledge of what has been lost will go forward with us and so will our sense of community. We will lift one another up. We will be there for each other on the hardest days. We will link arms, look up, and journey together.
Life may not be one big party, but our lives are richer, stronger, and better because of our connected Christian community.