Family is a vital part of having a happy and healthy life. Our Christian walk is not so different. Growing in the faith requires a family of believers who will stand with you no matter what is thrown your way. I grew up in a Christian family. Both of my parents raised me with Godly principles and instilled within me the desire to follow God wholeheartedly all of my life. However, my Christian walk was lacking something. I needed a group of truly sound believers my age to walk the Christian walk with: I needed Christian brothers. I joined a small group my first semester at Virginia Tech, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. That is where my story with Chi Alpha picks up.
I came to Virginia Tech with a backpack full of emotions, fear and worry to name a few. Living in a new place so far from home was a difficult adjustment. I vividly remember my family driving away that first night after moving me in and I felt more sad and lonely than I had ever felt in my life. It was in that moment that I cried out to God, asking him to bring me a Christian family on campus. Sure enough He heard my prayer. The next day I found a bag on my door from Chi Alpha filled with both food and information on social events that involved free food. Being a guy that loves to eat, I decided to go to their cookout that was scheduled for that night. Ultimately, I ended up meeting three guys who would eventually be my small group leaders for the rest of the year. It was the time spent in that group which changed my spiritual walk with Christ.
That first year of small group laid the groundwork for my “new found” foundation in Christ. Despite being raised in a Christian home, many aspects of my walk with God didn’t become solidified until I started diving into scripture over the course of that year. Trust was a major part of that plan. The ability to give everything over to God and trust Him completely was something that I really struggled with. Using small group, God brought me to a place that year where I finally could give it all over to Him. During the following year, my small group experience reached a whole new level. While it was a new group, there was a sense of true vulnerability between all of us and some of my best friendships in college were cultivated that year. That was also the year that I rededicated my life to Christ and was baptized during Fall retreat. I can honestly say that through small group. God jump-started my Christian walk and it has changed my life ever since.
In all, small groups changed my life for the better. Having fellow brothers and sisters in Christ standing by you during college life is an invaluable resource. Family is a key aspect that no believer should go without. Life is a marathon, and God calls us to run together as a team. Small groups are both your team and your family and the race wouldn’t be won without them.
“… let us run the race of endurance the race that is set before us …” Hebrews 12:1