I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary of living in Nashville, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that community is everything.
I was raised by an independent, strong-willed South Kentuckian. My mother not only taught me how to feed myself, remove a splinter from my foot, check my tire pressure, and ride a bike, she also taught me that if you have a problem, you pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get it done. Although I try to employ this quality of hard-and-fast endurance every day of my adult life, I have found that this advice has its flaws. Since moving to a new city on my own, as a 22-year old, I have learned that, try as I might, I can’t do everything on my own.
I’ve realized that I don’t know how to hammer a nail into a wall without making the hole larger than my thumb. I’ve learned that you can’t plant a garden and expect it to grow without watering it everyday. I’ve learned that I can’t poach an egg. I’ve learned that I can’t have a crisis and hide under the covers in the dark, expecting my circumstances to change. I’ve learned that I can’t do it alone.
Cheers to the ones I can call when it’s 2:30 in the morning, to the ones who bring me a burger when I have to study for a graduate school exam, to those who pick me up when my car is in the dealership. Cheers to the Bible study group I go to every Wednesday night, where no matter if I’m smiling or frowning, they will love me for who I am.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” —Hebrews 10:24-25
The great thing about Bible studies is that it’s literally impossible to do them alone. How silly would it be to purchase a group study on lifeway.com, gather snacks, and meet alone in your home and discuss with yourself how you can apply biblical truths to your life? Bible studies are meant for community.
One of the reasons I love working for Lifeway is because every day when I step into my office, I am reminded of why community is important. Smallgroup.com is built around this driving desire we all have for community. Every time I write for a church or compile content for a customized Bible study, or even just move a few commas around, I am reminded of the importance of the work I do. I am a small cog in a grand machine of Christian community. Like the great cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 12, I hear the echoes of those in small groups who utilize our content each week. We’re all spurring each other on, in some way or another.
Caroline Case is a proud Nashville transplant from Naples, Florida, who serves as the production editor for Lifeway’s SmallGroup.com and Discipleship in Context teams. Caroline is currently in graduate school at Belmont University pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in English and Creative Writing, in hopes of inspiring and encouraging others with the written word.