Koinonia and the Post-College Search for Community

Friday, June 23, 2017

 Photo by Fano Miasta on Unsplash
Happy Friday, everyone!
Today I am SO excited to host the very first guest post on my blog! Megan and Mairead of Grad2Grad and I connected a few months back over a mutual admiration for each other’s work. Our missions come from a place of wanting to soothe that transition into the “real world” that smacks so many of us after college, and Megan and Mairead have such a beautiful way of reminding us of our deepest identity and purpose in the midst of that challenge.
What Megan shares below is a powerful reflection on the building of intentional community after college, something I know is a struggle for so many of us after graduating. I don’t want to spoil her thoughts by offering my comments, insights, and “Amen”s on them (even though there are many! It’s so good!), so I’ll just let her do the rest. Take it away, Megan! :)
“I turned open to a reading the other day that kept referring to the term ‘koinonia.’ This is a greek word which God uses to describe our fellowship with Him. I did a little more of a search on the term and it means a close association between two people and all the results that come from that close relationship. The word is also used in the Bible to describe a close relationship between the followers of Jesus.
Fellowship. It appears to be a simple word, but it sure has some depth to it, doesn’t it? “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42-47). When I read this scripture, I can’t help but to long for that. It sounds like quite the celebration. And I want to be part of it. This also is a clear picture that God wants that for us too (And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved).
As I look back on different seasons of my life, I see times where I have been blessed with deep and wonderful fellowship and other times where I crave it. But one thing I have come to realize is that fellowship takes time. As Ty Saltzgiver says in Reflections on Discipleship, ‘Fellowship, deep fellowship, seems to evolve slowly over time. As trust grows, fellowship and ‘accountability’ deepen. Like a fine wine, let fellowship age.’
At the beginning of college I got involved in a particular ministry, Young Life, rather quickly. I had hopes to make some friends as fast as I possibly could. However, I would go and the faces around me were so unfamiliar and it was hard to get “deep” with any of them. I didn’t have much in common with any of them (besides Jesus). However, I kept going. I kept showing up. I knew I wanted it. I wanted friends. I promise you that it seems to have gone by like the blink of an eye, but the next five years were better in ways I can’t even put into words and better than I could have ever imagined. Now here I am in the middle of Manhattan as a college graduate and finding myself at a point where I must start over again. However, it is harder. I’m not around people my own age as I was in college and I am in a city where people are very transient and not very big on commitment. So… the seeking it a bit more of a challenge. But what I can tell you is that this time is making me more and more dependent on the fellowship I have with the Lord. I still must seek it, but my fellowship with Him is constantly available at any time and anywhere, and that is something different than any human relationship I may or may not have.

I wrote the above paragraphs some time earlier in my New York journey. After months of bringing my requests of community and fellowship before the Lord, I have some friendships here that will be incredibly hard to leave the day that we go our separate ways. I may not have a room full of people I’m singing worship with per se, but I have some relationships here that have gotten deep within just a couple months and relationships that have resulted in individuals around this big and dark city noticing something different about us. I spent the past weekend in the mountains with a couple of these friendships and let me tell you… we broke bread together. We ate a lot together. And we laughed even more than that. And that’s enough. In fact, it’s more than enough.
If you’re feeling lonely or struggling to find community in a new place, don’t give up. If you seek it, you will find it. But let me tell you from experience, you must seek it. Lots of love.
xoxo, Megan”
Grad2grad is a special project started by two friends who found themselves at a point in life where they would soon be miles away. With a longing to keep in touch and a big dream in the making, the blog was started. Megan is a postgrad from Ohio, but currently residing in New York City. She is currently a freelance writer and dreams of starting her own magazine some day. Mairead is a freshman at University of South Carolina where she studies nursing. Even in the midst of being in different stages of life, the beauty comes from sharing the Lord's daily lessons and telling stories about their experiences in new places! Join the adventures by following along with grad2grad.com.