We've had the opportunity to speak to Sarah and to get to know her for a couple years. Her testimony truly influenced our understanding in a positive way, and we are glad to identify her as an impactor. We asked her a few questions about community, the weight of that word and how the term has molded her life and here were her responses.
What is the importance of community?
"Community. A concept I now embrace whole heatedly, but once found hard to fully invite in to my life, and warmly welcome. Whether it was my own insecurities tapping on my shoulder and screaming for my attention, or the tempting whispers to isolate myself believing the world was against me, because of my past experiences, many times I was afraid to be vulnerable, and to allow others in. Other times, I thought I could do things better than others, I was an expert at finding a million reasons why I didn’t need anyone around. I thought I was better off on my own. Funny thing is, life always finds a way of proving you wrong time after time.
Throughout the years I have seen firsthand the power in community in my own life, the way it can lift you up, or tear you down. Community is defined as a unified body of individuals. I love that word, unity. The world we live in is crying out from within, yearning for unity, yearning for a place to belong and feel at home. Yet, every day we find ourselves allowing the most minuscule things to come between us. Despite that, I know together we can overcome that division. When we make up our minds to stay united, to stay true to one another, lifting each other up, and desiring to see each other excel above oneself (Romans 12:10) we build community. In a healthy (Godly) community you find some of the greatest gifts to not only get you through life but to constantly keep you moving forward, stronger and joy-filled.
Life is so much sweeter when you have people to keep you accountable, constantly pointing out the best of you and calling you higher. People to laugh or cry with, and have vision filled conversations. In community there is growth, dreams are birthed and strength is found. Don’t miss out on the community God has for you, be intentional about seeking it out because there you’ll find fullness of life."
Give us an insight on how serving the community/ discipleship looks?
"The awesome thing about serving our community is that it can look different for all of us. For some it may not take place in the nearby homeless shelter or the missions trip your church is setting up. It can take place in your neighborhood, in your school, in showing love and sharing your time with the coworker most people avoid, God can use you wherever you are. But we must always have expectant hearts, and that’s something we learn as disciples. I love Romans 8:15-17 msg version there is a line that says “what’s next, papa?” It’s this heart of availability and expectancy that brings great delight to the Father. A heart positioned to always say “how can I help?”, “how can I lighten the burden of my neighbor?” is true servant-hood. Start by taking time to write down the things you are good at, the people in your life you could be a light in, mediate on the things that set your heart on fire, and purse them with everything you’ve got. We are all given a platform, and audience only we can reach, don’t let it pass you by."
What advice would you give those who say that they cannot make time or think they are not equipped to serve the community?
"I find that some of us, including myself at can wait our entire lives to take action, thinking “someone else” will do it, until we realize that “someone” needs to be us. You need to know that God has given each and every one of us gifts and talents, He has created us uniquely and equipped us for what He is calling us to. Yet, there are many times in our lives where we chose to partner with the enemies lies, specifically falling into the spirit of comparison. Comparison kills everything beautiful. It devours everything in its path, your confidence, your dreams, your aspirations. And it’s one that I am convinced we must put to death in our own lives in order to reach our full potential, which is greatness, nothing less. Whether it be stepping out to serve at your local church, or volunteering for a cause you are passionate about, maybe even spearheading a ministry, or applying for the job He has called you to be light in. Sometimes you just have to decide the time is NOW, and you are going to move and stop feeding the lies that “you simply can’t do it”. I encourage you to start thinking and speaking kingdom language, you are called to greatness. Don’t watch greatness happen, be a part of it!"
What words would you give to encourage those people that want to take part in impacting the community God has placed you in? *Feel free to add any helpful resources about these topics and info about the community*
A year ago I returned from living in Asia, and Australia for six months attending a missionary school known as Youth with a Mission (ywam.org). I was a student in the discipleship training school, that had a focus on Human trafficking. Those were some of the best times of my life, but now I am back home equally allowing God to move in my life and make the most ordinary moments extraordinary. I have seen His grace and favor over my life as He has given me the desire of my heart, and that is community in the church I am now a part of. If you are looking to be more involved in your church a great first step is reaching out and building relationships, let it be known you are there to serve, seek out opportunities, join a connect group if available, this way you can find what your gifts and talents are and make great use of them!
If you feel called to missions, I would without hesitation recommend the organization I am a part of (Youth with a mission) your life. Will. Be. Transformed. Place that dream before the Lord and if His response is GO, run with it! You will have obstacles, but stick to what is spoken, He will provide every step of the way.
I pray whatever is on your heart to involve yourself in that nothing will stop you from pursuing it, may the voice of the Lord always be louder than what the world is yelling.
Sarah is involved in her local church Metro Life in the South Florida region. If anyone is looking for a community church with sound doctrine, in the South Florida area, we definitely encourage you all to visit Metro. (The services are in English and ASL translation). She also provided some visuals! We are honored and moved by God's way in Sarah, and we hope you are as well!