Candlewood’s Young Professionals made history in October by being a part of the inaugural YP Retreat. Located in the tiny town of Pleasanton, Kansas, the YPs stayed the weekend at the Cedar Crest Lodge. We were joined by speaker Pastor Tim Greeno and his wife, as well as YP Pastor Shane Unger.
The theme of the retreat was World Changers. Tim said that around 120 people made up the first church, calculating to about .0004% of the world’s population who were Christians at the time. God used a minuscule number of people to start a worldwide movement. So, what can he do with us?
Acts 2:42, 46-47
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
There is a difference between spending time with friends and genuine fellowship. Spending time together is generally more superficial. You and a friend hang out over some random common interest, and you generally just have fun together. I’m not trying to cheapen the meaning of a friend, but I know what it is like to have a more meaningful relationship. Genuine fellowship is so much more.
Fellowship is how you build deep and meaningful relationships. Fellowship is the joining of believers under a common denominator: Jesus. A few men were called by Jesus and left everything behind to follow him. They spent almost every waking hour together in the presence of the son of God. Now, I am sure that they were quite the eclectic bunch, but they came together, built strong relationships, and influenced hundreds and thousands of people just by being together. We know the impact this small group of men had on their world. Imagine what effect the YPs could have on the world today?
We live in the age of social media where it’s easy to “connect” with the world around us with a click of a button. People don’t feel the need to leave their homes to connect with the world anymore. How different does true Biblical fellowship look to the world around us?
Acts says, “And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” This verse got me excited. The disciples did not really have to actually do much, and the Lord blessed their love for each other. They were with each other ALL THE TIME. I used to find that thought exhausting being a self-proclaimed introvert and forced extrovert, but really embracing that verse has a chance to change my life and the life of many others.
“Church, you’re getting in the way of my life.”
This is a phrase I have uttered to myself countless times. I just never really thought about what I was actually saying to myself. I made a choice 8 years ago that I wanted God to be at the center of my life. I wanted to live a life that had meaning. I wanted to share the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth, but apparently I also thought that I could have a life aside from what I did for God, and the work I was doing with the church. This realization was huge for me!
The way I saw things: church was getting in the way of my life. I wanted a life outside of what I did for the church and Christ. So when Tim read a Proverb to us about this, I felt like something just clicked. If say that I want to live a life for Christ, I have to change my attitude from the church is getting in the way of my life, to the church is my life. Spending all of my days with people that are so different in many aspects, and yet have Christ as the common goal. Enjoying them. Building real relationships with them. Not complaining when I am asked to do things that I might have done differently. Not complaining that I have no time to myself when my time actually belongs to the Lord. Learning to lead with men and having a joyful heart.
Here I am two months later, and I hope to keep these lessons with me. Being single with other singles is awesome. The Candlewood Young Professionals have something special that others outside of our situation might not understand. We have the chance to be like the disciples of Acts – freedom to meet together, build deeper relationships, and pray together without bounds.
We are unique, and we are indispensable.