Community: God’s Model for Transformation

Hi people! How are you all doing? It’s been a minute!

On some days, I feel like I shouldn’t say those words because it makes it obvious that I’ve been away longer than I planned to be but, we’re family and there’s absolutely no need hiding, denying or intentionally omitting the truth. Thank you to those who reached out to check up on me, those who continually read, like, comment and share blog posts with their family and friends; and those who follow up with me to ensure I don’t drop the ball on this assignment; you all hold a special place in my heart. Thank you for being a part of this community!

Alright then, let’s get to this week’s gist.

Last weekend, I was away partying at my friend’s sister’s wedding in Abeokuta. I know it sounds like a long shot but trust me, its not. This friend is more family, so let’s just say that I was at a family event. If you’re familiar with traditional weddings here in Nigeria, you know without a doubt that we party hard. We typically get dressed up to party in our aso-ebi (a uniform fabric picked out that we wear in solidarity during ceremonies), and gele (traditional head scarves tied in exotic styles). Seeing that, I haven’t attended an event in the last 17 months, I went all out on this one. The other highlight of this wedding was that I traveled out of town with my girls, no husbands, and no kids! Whoop!

As we drove down, talked, laughed, got dressed up, and partied; I thought about how grateful I was to be part of this circle of friendship. The girls (as I fondly call them) and I have been friends for 16 years! Now, that counts for a lot because we’ve seen each other through half of our lives. I thought about us in 2005 when we first met, and I could see how much we have evolved. I could see how we had become confident in our individual giftings, industries, journeys, and personalities so much so that we could serve each other with no comparison, guile, or pretentiousness. It hasn’t always been rosy, but I can gladly say that we’ve all contributed to one another’s growth.

Now, I know you maybe reading this and thinking, “Well, lucky you’. ‘Remember to be careful with people!’ ‘You can’t trust people that much these days. ‘People change’. ‘Women are dangerous! ‘You don’t know what I’ve experienced with friends’, and so on and so forth. I get that, but let me assure you that it is possible to have long-lasting, fun and happy friendships. For anyone who’s been hurt by a friend or a community you once belonged to, my heart goes out to you. I pray for God’s comfort for you. I pray He heals your heart and brings you into loving and healthy communities.  

So, where am I going with this?

As we start out the second half of the year, please don’t walk alone, don’t do life alone, don’t chase your dreams alone, don’t exempt yourself from healthy thriving communities, don’t avoid healthy connections. Maybe you’ve been hurt before, I know it hurt really bad but please don’t allow one bad experience cut you off from God’s plan of community and family. Or perhaps, you are holding back because you feel you have nothing to give. That’s a lie friend. You are valuable! You are wisdom on two feet, you are the expression of God’s perfection and He created you with utmost precision, passion, intention, and detail. You are intricately designed for greatness; and you are enough! You have a whole lot to offer, and you matter, so go for it. Reach out and connect.

Community is God’s idea. We humans aren’t that smart to come up with such an intelligent model that produces value every time. Check through scriptures and you’ll see that it is replete with community models – from the garden of Eden to Gideon’s army, to David’s mighty men, to Jesus’ disciples, to the local churches in the epistles – you’ll see the concept of community spilling through.

Community here, is beyond geography; rather it is about shared values, vision, and heart. It is about being bound together by God’s love and pursuing God’s will for each person together. It is about love, commitment, consecration, and service. This is God’s model for His children; and it pleases Him when we live in unity. In Psalm 133:1-3, this level of connection and unity is compared to precious oil that consecrates, and dew from Mount Hermon that refreshes. In this kind of community, God pours out His blessing.

Are you wondering if it makes any difference? Yes, it does! I am living proof of the transformative power of healthy and loving communities. Such communities open you up to depths you didn’t know were possible. Here, humility and accountability are modelled till it becomes your own way of life. These communities become a rock of support for you, help you see the flaws in you without condemnation, model true love, provide you with life insights and objective feedback, become your testing group for your big ideas, serve as your start up team, connect you with insights and platforms, speak up for you, and even provide inspiration and strength that you need on your journey. In all, a healthy community is one where there is multiplied impact – one chases a thousand, and two ten thousand according to Deuteronomy 32:30 because God is with them!

Friend, what communities do you belong to? What accountability structures have you put around yourself? As we step into the second half of the year, take some time to review the communities you belong to and ensure they fit with God’s blueprint. Where necessary, leave old ones, join new ones, pray to be guided and don’t allow the counterfeits deceive you, because there are originals within reach. I’m forever grateful for my communities – The Elevation Church, Nigeria, Abby’s Place, Immerse Coaching Company, My Girls, and soon to come, The Liberation Bootcamp – to mention a few. Don’t forget community is God’s idea.


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