Last summer, I was on summer staff at Youthfront Camp West, which is a camp in Edgerton for elementary and middle school aged students. Being on summer staff means being part of a community made up of the other summer staffers, but also the full time staff and weekly volunteers. Being a part of that community and also the community at MNU has taught me a lot. Specifically, it’s taught me the value of community and how to live life more intentionally and fully. There are many important things that I learned about community last semester that has helped me be a more contributing member of the community at MNU.
Community is caring.
A community laughs together, cries together, and cares about each other. I don’t personally know every student at MNU, but I care about everyone as if I did. I can honestly say I feel comfortable striking up a conversation with every person that I pass on campus or sit by in class… and that doesn’t happen everywhere. I even care about all of my professors and the faculty at MNU. Living in a community with a body of believers has given me a glimpse of what Heaven will be like. It’s really beautiful.
Community is not easy.
Don’t get me wrong… community is fun and great, but it’s not always an easy thing to be a part of. Community reminds me of family. You don’t get to choose your family, much like you don’t get to choose everyone who is a part of the same community as you, but you learn to love them simply because you do life with them. There are times when I get annoyed or frustrated with people. There are certain people that I don’t imagine myself being best friends with (which I’ve realized is completely fine, because who could handle over a thousand best friends anyway?). Although there are times when it’s hard, it is always worth it. I sincerely love every single person in the MNU community and I would go to great lengths to help anyone in any way I can. That’s what family does for each other… and at the end of the day, all I can do is thank God for the community He’s led me to be a part of.
Community is an opportunity for growth.
I have grown so much this summer and this past semester because of the communities I’ve been a part of. These experiences have taught me how to love people more boldly and intentionally. One thing I love about MNU is that we are encouraged to live our lives to bring glory to God, worshipping Him at all times. Being surrounded by people who are yearning to know God on a deeper level daily is inspiring. I will never forget the moments of corporate worship at Kingdom Come and the fun events that ASG hosts. All of those things we do together as a community are opportunities for growth in many ways.
Community is essential.
I firmly believe that everyone should experience the power of community at some point in their lives, whether it’s with co-workers, classmates, or even a group of friends that does life together. It can teach us valuable things about loving people and open our eyes to how to do that genuinely and intentionally.
There is no other community I would rather be a part of than MNU. It’s been absolutely incredible and I can’t wait for the years to come. I truly love it so much!