Thursday, June 2, 2011

Why Live in Community // Adventure in Togetherness

Greetings! This is Amber here and Bethany has asked me to do a guest blog post for her for some reason. She is pretty cool like that. Just a little background on me – I currently live in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania with my handsome husband Jay (who is also guest blogged) and three other couples in a huge house. That’s right, there are eight of us sharing life together in the same house. Does that sound crazy to you? Well, let me explain why we do it.


Experiences in Community
Let’s begin with our experiences of living in community with other people. Both of us have had many positive experiences living with other people, and our fair share of challenges. We both lived in the dorms of Missouri State University for at least a year. 

My most significant adventure with community happened my junior year. I moved once again to a bigger house that was more inviting to community than the small apartment. I lived with my sister Emily and two other girls who challenged and sharpened me. The house, which we affectionately call “Florida” for the street that it was on, quickly became a place of refuge, good times, and deep conversations. There were often times when people just wanted to hang out somewhere, so they came to Florida for hot chocolate and board games. Florida is where three of us realized that we were going to marry our wonderful husbands. 

For the first time, I felt like I was able to use my home as a ministry and that is because of the community that existed inside the walls of that house. We challenged one another and spurred one another on towards love and good deeds. There is a Proverb that says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” That is what Florida did for me. It sharpened me and I like to think that it sharpened the other three girls as well. Going home to people who love you and want to challenge you to become the person God has designed you to be was a constant source of growth spiritually.

Ever since my time in Florida, I have been hungry for community. I have lived with an incredible family from my church, my sweet oldest sister and now I live with my beloved whom I married about two ago. All three of those living arrangements have been wonderful and blessed. However, they lacked community that Florida had. They lacked the iron sharpening iron.

Benefits of Community Dwelling
The apostles in Acts were of “one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. There was not a needy person among them.” (Acts 4:32 & 34) Jay and I feel like that is the best way to live our lives. To be of one accord and share your possessions with those who are in need and with brothers and sisters in the Lord. You may say that you can be in one accord with just a husband and wife, and we completely agree. However, for us, we choose to live in harmony with multiple people from different backgrounds with different gifts.

Another benefit of community has little to do with faith. It is simply a bonus benefit of community dwellers. It seems easier to live an “organic life” in community. What I mean by that, is it is easier to grow your own garden and make your own clothes and live off the natural goodness of the Lord through relying on other people. Putting a range of people together under one roof is like taking a cornucopia of skills and talents and putting them together to work toward a common goal. It is more effective to work together to make that happen.


We don’t live in community so that it can change us into people that we are not. We desire community so that we can change the world to bridge the gap between what is and what should be. We don’t want to live in community because it is easier. We desire community because it is challenging. We don’t want to live in community to avoid the church. We desire community because we are the church. We don’t want to live in community simply because it is permissible. We desire community because it is beneficial. We don’t want to live in community to escape any person or thing. Will you join us?

If you want to learn more about our community or would like to read more about our adventures, check
out our blog at

Jay and Amber's Community
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