Embracing the Healing Power of Christian Community After Trauma
In a world where individualism and isolation are becoming the norm, the question arises: How important is community, especially for women seeking faith-based therapy after trauma? The answer, as we look to Jesus, is clear—it is incredibly important. While Jesus did withdraw to solitary places at times (Luke 5:16), a closer look at the scriptures reveals that a significant portion of His ministry occurred within the context of community.
The Crucial Role of In-Person Christian Community
Jesus healed, performed miracles, taught profound truths, offered gentle rebukes, and even transfigured before the eyes of His disciples—all within the framework of community. While moments of solitude are necessary, there are immeasurable benefits to be gained from finding our place within small groups and Christian communities.
What is a community?
According to Merriam-Webster, community is defined as “a unified body of individuals.” For believers, it goes beyond mere physical proximity; it involves the unified working together of the body of Christ.
“There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink. So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts” (1 Corinthians 12:12).
In this context, we see the importance of community. It takes a unified body, comprising different individuals, to become formed into one body. This cannot be achieved by isolating ourselves from the Church. Instead, we must recognize our unique role, for what can the Head do without the Body?
The Limitations of Online Communities
While online communities provide blessings and conveniences, they cannot fully replace the warmth and tangible support found in face-to-face interactions. Hebrews 10:24-25 reminds us of the importance of not forsaking meeting together, urging believers to spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Acts 2:42 exemplifies the early believers’ commitment to in-person gatherings, where they shared fellowship, worship, and support. These biblical admonitions highlight the unique level of encouragement and comfort found in building connections within a local church family, fostering deep bonds that transcend virtual spaces.
Building Deep Bonds in Local Church Communities
Online communities, although valuable, cannot replicate the depth of community and fellowship that God intended for us. They serve as a supplement rather than a complete substitute. By actively participating in a local church family, we experience the fullness of Christian community, as emphasized in the Scriptures. Through in-person gatherings, we have the opportunity for authentic interaction, the sharing of burdens, and the celebration of joys. These face-to-face encounters allow us to witness the power of God’s love in the presence of others, fulfilling the call to gather together and grow in faith as one body.
Four Key Encouragements for Finding Your Christian Community
1. Jesus Himself Thrived in Community
Just as Jesus surrounded Himself with the twelve disciples, He understood the importance of building a community along His journey. As women seeking faith-based therapy after trauma, we should also recognize the significance of cultivating personal relationships within our faith communities.
2. Safety in Numbers:
The dangers of isolation and individualism are highlighted in Ecclesiastes 4:10. Remaining connected to a community safeguards us from spiritual attacks and provides a support system to lift us up in times of need.
“But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:10)
3. Unleashing Your Spiritual Gifts:
Communities create an environment conducive to personal spiritual growth. Throughout the Old Testament and even today, gathering in communities allows us to learn, grow, and serve together, amplifying our spiritual gifts.
4. Nourishment for the Soul:
The power of the Holy Spirit manifests in the fellowship and love shared within a local Jesus community. When we come together, we experience the fullness of God’s love through the presence of others in our lives. It really is food for the soul.
Quiet solitude is important, because without it how can we have that intimacy of personal relationship with our Lord (Matthew 6:6). It’s certainly important to be discerning of the times we’re in, and to use wisdom when you do decide to gather.Solitude or Community–one does not negate the other in terms of being more important or less. But in wisdom, every believer ought to prayerfully consider that if community was important to Jesus it should be important to us too. Use prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to your own local body of believers where you can grow in community. Your spiritual life will be blessed for it.
About the Author
Jemese LaChel is a Christian Trauma Therapist who understands the transformative power of community. Having experienced her own period of wilderness and isolation, she discovered the importance of building relationships within faith-based communities as she drew closer to Jesus. Now, she guides women on their healing journeys, offering a safe space for restoration and encouragement. Join the Daughters of Abba Facebook group to access additional resources and be part of a supportive community of women seeking healing and support. Together, we can walk the path of healing and wholeness.