Wed 14 Oct
I want to start us off here with a question — reflecting on your spiritual journey, what has been most impactful in helping you become more like Jesus? Has it been the teachings you’re following? Reading the Bible? Praying? Studying? I think we can all agree these are integral aspects of our discipleship process but … are they the most important?
When I look back at the things that have shaped me in my walk with Jesus, what stands out most are the people who walked with me. The people who challenged me in the areas where I was struggling. Those who celebrated and encouraged me in my giftings. Those who affirmed Jesus in me and helped me become more like He created me to be.
There’s one person in particular who helped me personify the necessity of community in our discipleship process. Her name is Yuksel and she is one of the most vibrant and Jesus-like people I know!
Yuksel and I met when I was living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and we were working with the same Christian organization. With her Turkish culture at the core, Yuksel was the epitome of hospitality! As we got to know one another, we’d hang out, watch movies, eat good food … it was a very casual, totally welcoming and her and her husband’s house quickly became "home” to me.
Yuksel’s statement of “come by anytime” was actually true! I was learning to step out of my Dutch-Canadian agenda-focused scheduling of relationships and grew to be spontaneous and free to contact her if I was having a rough day. We knew that whatever was going on in her life or mine, we would make space and time for one another.
As our relationship grew, we became more intentional with our time. Finding opportunities to pray together, chat through the things we were struggling with, worship together … together was the key! We had a growing group of friends who were mirroring these intentional relationships to one another and I think we can all say, we look more like Jesus today because of it!
When I came back to Canada 2 years ago, I knew I needed to find community. I plugged into The Meeting House in Newmarket and found a great home church who were a HUGE support for me (shout-out to Silverbirch!). I was incredibly grateful to find like-minded people who genuinely cared for me and deeply loved Jesus.
The Fellowship of the King series has been so on point with naming how the discipleship process works. Yes— we’re trusting, growing, giving, going … but most importantly, we’re doing it all together! We were created out of relationship for relationship. This is where transformation (Jesus-likeness) happens.
So, let’s end with a question too … what is your next step? Jumping into a home church? Joining a volunteer team? As this series rounds out, let’s take those steps to find purposeful proximity with one another. Sounds like Jesus to me!
Melissa Ytsma is the lead pastor at The Meeting House Richmond Hill.