Whether you’ve completed a school through YWAM before, known someone who has, or you are looking into becoming a ywamer yourself, community holds some sort of importance to you! Community is entirely crucial in the kingdom, as it opens doors to new ways to see God, know God, and make God known in every area of our lives! Here’s 6 Perks to full immersion into YWAM community living!
Community is an Integral Part of The Kingdom
God’s heart is completely relational! In fact, the first problem God noticed in creation was that, “it is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Since God’s at the core of His character is relational, we are created to be that same way! Each and every breath we take is a product of God wanting to recklessly love us, pursue us, and enjoy His creation — aka other people. “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” As We each have been given such unique giftings and passions, and we all make up the body of Christ. Each part is as integral as the other, needing to function in perfect harmony supporting others and being supported by others! Therefore, when we gather as a community in numbers greater than one, God is present (Matthew 18:20). When we gather as a community, we give ourselves the opportunity to unlock more important characteristics of who God is through displays of His beloved children around us.
Living As A Servant
Living in a community is a little taste of heaven on earth: new life stories, personalities, habits, and culture, which of course leads to differences in everyone’s way of life! While living in a confined space overflowing with people, sometimes things can get a little messy, but this only unlocks new opportunities to serve those around us! When we 100% immerse ourselves in community, we give ourselves an incredible opportunity to remove all of the focus from ourselves and set our eyes on humbling ourselves and serving others! As Jesus says, “Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28). We are declared set apart from the world, and the world desperately seeks to serve itself. So if it’s through washing the dishes, vacuuming the floors, cleaning the bathroom, or even folding clothes for another person, it all glorifies the one we’re living for — Jesus! “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13).
Open Door to Discipleship
The word, “discipleship” can seem intimidating at first, as it hints towards vulnerability which easily makes our hearts skip a beat. But, discipleship can take on many forms! It can be as simple as cooking someone breakfast or talking over coffee! All in all, discipleship involves openness, seeking advice, and LOTS of Scripture. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–10). We really need each other, even though we try to sometimes walk through valleys alone. It’s healthy to seek advice and instruction from others who have previously walked the same paths we are walking! Discipleship stems through the trials that come along with life, which gives us choice to choose to press into Jesus or not. Living in community creates infinite and unending paths to have those same opportunities to CHOOSE Jesus, seek Him, and find Him as He speaks through those around us. “Let the of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts” (Colossians 3:16).
Power of Vulnerability
It’s not a secret, DTS can be an emotional time as we learn to grow our roots deep in the Father heart of God and we grow in Him, we learn who we are — and that isn’t as easy as we think. Discovering who we are entitles us to shine light upon circumstances from our past that may bring forth some hurt and surrendering them to Jesus. Therefore, we receive a new joy, peace, and healing — which of course, comes with emotion. While all of this is happening in community, other people will begin to pick up on our emotions and this ISN’T A BAD THING! So much healing comes from vulnerability, in fact we “overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony” (Revelation 12:11). Sharing about what’s going in our lives with others, is key to defeating any attack against the enemy. The enemy wants us to think we are alone and that we have to keep quiet about our struggles because he knows the healing power that comes from vulnerability. Our burdens become weightless as we are open, prayerful, and honest about them! Galatians 6:2 calls us to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Finding Rest in God
Of course, living in a vibrant, diverse, and buzzing community 24/7 is wonderful in endless ways, but without balance, it can be draining for our spirits — especially for our introverted friends! The key to this balance is filling ourselves and finding rest in God! The Father loves to spend intentional one-on-one time with His children! This time doesn’t only have to look like dead silent prayer times before the sun comes up, but simply having fun with God. Be that through quiet walks through creation, listening to worship music, drawing, or even writing out our prayers, God will rush in and replenish our souls! Filling our hearts with Him, enables our cup to overflow into the lives of others!
Jesus says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Home Away From Home
YWAM is family. In any YWAM community, you are lifted up and loved for who you are and who God originally made you to be! Family supports, loves, encourages, and holds each member accountable through each valley and each mountain top. That accountability is the key to personal growth. While in the YWAM community, you’ll be naturally surrounded by people who want to keep you accountable to your word and your walk with The Lord. When you find yourself always around the presence of God, and with people who love the presence of God, you’ll find your second home.
Even though life in community can be stressful, overwhelming, and tiring, living life alongside like-minded people shapes you to become more like Jesus — and you get to create lifelong friends friends amidst the process!