If You Don't Have Community Before a Crisis Strikes, It's Already too Late

by Jen Oshman

“If you don’t have community before a crisis strikes, it’s already too late.”

Pastor Mark preached those very words on Sunday and we saw them lived out on Monday.

As we sat down to dinner with our Gospel Community last night, all of the ladies’ phones dinged with the same text. Our friend was in the back of an ambulance with her baby boy, en route to the ER. She fired off a quick text to about 25 women from our Bible study. She included a picture of her sweet boy, connected to all kinds of wires and tubes and oxygen.

“Please pray so hard,” she said.

Minutes before, after she had called 911 from her home, her neighbors, who were also trusted friends, had walked right into her home and declared that they would care for her older children as she was whisked away with her baby.

She called her husband. She texted us ladies. They arrived at the hospital and the baby underwent all kinds of tests. Our phones dinged all night with promised prayers from all the women. Our Gospel Community paused and prayed for them multiple times.

Their Gospel Community leaders arrived at the hospital with dinner and ready to pray. At the conclusion of our Gospel Community, we went to the hospital to hug them and pray. All the while, their older kids were fine at home and all the women kept praying and texting.

Our sweet friends and their baby boy were surrounded by love and lifted up on never-ending prayers.

This is community. It’s beautiful. And so necessary.

These sweet friends are not from Colorado. They’ve only lived here a few years. And they’ve lived in Parker even less. But here’s what they did as soon as they got here: they pursued community. They met their neighbors, had them into their home, built friendships, grew trust, exchanged babysitting. They found a church, blessedly for us, it’s our church. They plugged into a Gospel Community. She committed herself to Women’s Bible Study. They serve in a couple different ministries. They’ve been with us maybe, at most, a year. But they have deep friendships because they’ve gotten into people’s lives and asked people to get in theirs.

They had community last night, when they needed it most.

Here’s my plea to all singles and couples and families who relocate in this transient age: meet your neighbors, make deep friends, find a church, join a small group, get community.

This story would have been so different if our friends had been shy, had kept to themselves, had held out on investing in their neighbors and finding a church. Last night would have been lonely and isolating and full of much more fear if they had still been “church shopping.” Their parents and siblings and lifelong best friends do not live here. But their family in Christ does.

By God’s grace, their baby is doing better. She texted all of us ladies again tonight and said, “We wanted to send a message out to thank all of you for your love and support towards our family during this crisis. It certainly has not gone unnoticed. From the bottom of our hearts, we are so thankful for each of you. Yesterday was a really scary day for us, and to know that you were praying meant so much. Thank you simply doesn't suffice.”

These dear ones have not neglected to dive into life with other believers (Hebrews 10:25). Their relocation could have meant isolation. Instead, by obeying the Lord’s call to community, they experienced his love through his people when they needed it most.

I just love the church. I hope you do too.