Falling Back Into Community

Hello church,

At our recent members meeting on August 9, I announced our plan for community and discipleship this fall. I could write a long, somewhat boring post about how the elders came to our current plan, but instead I’ll provide the short version and provide some vision and some action steps for you and your household. If you want the long version, you can listen to the community portion of the members meeting below.


Reshaping community after COVID has been a challenge for every church community. We have done fairly well here at Anthem; I have nothing but respect and gratitude for the many people who have served our church during the past few years in community and discipleship roles.

We are, however, in a very real sense still replanting Anthem after COVID. For a while, the biggest obstacles to forming discipleship rhythms were logistical: we were battling the peaks and waves of the virus, fighting for consistent meeting in order to build the community we all know we need. Now, we are looking out at the landscape of our county and are noticing that the whole world has changed since COVID. We have a blank slate; and we need to build avenues for the church to built itself up in love and truth upon that vacant canvas.


This beautiful area we call home has always been a hard place to persist as a follower of Jesus, but now the airs of indifference and opposition to the church have reached a new height. But if we’ve learned anything from the book of 1 Peter, it’s that our call to love God, love one another, and love others comes to us, no matter the circumstances. Far from discouraging, this is actually exciting for me: how do we, as followers of Jesus, disciple one another into fruitful living, which then extends into love for our neighbors as we share the love of God with them? What a glorious, engaging puzzle. This is what the church is for! God has no Plan B; we are his workmanship, created for gospel faithfulness and fruit in this difficult moment.

So how do we do this? Honestly, we don’t know. We can rack our brains trying to develop the most innovative solution to this calling, but we thought we’d do something simpler instead. We want to return to our roots, keep things simple, and do what the church has always done throughout time: gather on Sunday, gather through the week, and lift up Jesus in devotion and prayer.

In addition to our Sunday gatherings, we are going to gather in three groups: one on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, one on Thursday. Each of them will be led by an elder and his wife, and we will be intentional about getting Jesus into our lives together. If you want to be involved in community life this autumn, we encourage you to pick a night and join us. These groups will start the week of September 4, 2022 and will be held until November 20. We will take a break for the holidays, regroup, and most likely start back up again in early January.

It’s not going to be easy, in fact it might be a bit awkward and hard at first. The groups will be a bit too big to start, and we will need to iron out some logistics as we get started together. However, starting things is never easy. Church community is never easy, and here’s what I’m beginning to realize: the more we let the inconveniences of fellowship get in the way of our participation, the less value we see in the body of Christ, and the more bitter and withdrawn we become. Convenience is never promised in the Scriptures, but joy, peace, and flourishing certainly are, especially as we work to sow into the devotion and prayer that God calls us to as his people.


All this said, here is my final plea: join us where the church is going in this season. We will not force anyone, but we will invite everyone, especially members (who have all committed to participation in community), to engage in this next season of life at Anthem Church. Engage the challenge and embrace the mess to the glory of God. Come and be surprised by what God is doing in our midst. Come be reminded that the gospel has power and is for our lives, every day. If you are a member, you a literal part of this body; we need you more than you know. If you aren’t a member, we encourage you to join us at this pivotal moment in Anthem’s history. God is up to something in our midst and at our church; may we not miss the moment by putting ourselves first. May we pursue him first, playing our part as he works and weaves something beautiful, something we could never build on our own.

Signups go live today; please use the link below to select a group. You can also tap the other button below if you have any questions for us.

I love you church. I have hope that God has great things for us in our future. I can’t wait to see how he uses this church for his glory and purposes… and I really can’t wait to see the joy it will bring us.

In Christ,

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