The Elements of a Great Community
Over this past year we've experienced first hand how important a strong community is. Explorer the unique qualities LuHi strives for in their community.
BY Amy Kopecky
This past year taught us many things, one of them being the value of community. It didn’t take long for quarantine to show us how much we missed social gatherings! Virtual hangouts aren’t a perfect replacement, but we do whatever we can to connect because we are made to live together.
By definition, a community is a gathering of people who are connected by something they have in common. LuHi has been a community of people passionate about excellent Christian education for high schoolers since 1955. That’s sixty-five years! There are three main elements that have enabled us to remain strong as a family for such a long time, and we can read about them in the book of Acts, an account of the early church.
“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." (Acts 2:42-44).
Did you catch the thread woven throughout these verses? Unity. LuHi has had a singular focus for sixty-five years that has bound us together, and that’s Jesus. Everything we do, teach, sing, play, learn, and grow is about and through Him, just like the early church. Even though we are a diverse school of talents, ethnicities, personalities and backgrounds, we are one body in Christ. Being unified in him also unifies us in our desire for excellence, since everything we do is for God’s glory.
Did you notice that the early church devoted themselves not only to Christian teaching, but also to time together? At LuHi we purposefully create opportunities to be together outside of classes, too. Whether it’s cheering on our athletic teams, hosting Advent by Candlelight, going on freshman and senior retreats, or serving our city, we love to have fun together, too.
"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…” (Acts 2:45-46).
Did you know that the giant California Sequoia trees have roots that go down only five or six feet? What they lack in depth they make up in width because they are intertwined with the roots of the trees around them up to 100 feet from their trunks. The forest remains strong only as long as the trees depend on and nourish each other.
At LuHi we strive to be like a Sequoia forest--sharing our roots and nourishment. We are only as strong as our neighbor, so we follow God’s commands to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Sometimes we don’t feel like sharing possessions, time or forgiveness, but God loved each of us when we were still sinners. We are generous because he was first generous with us.
LuHi is intentional about looking for ways to serve locally and globally. Every year we host a LuHi Serves day when our students and teachers serve in local organizations in our city. We also send mission teams overseas to serve globally, and encourage all of our students to have a mission mindset in whatever they pursue.
“And the Lord added daily to their number those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47).
That brings us to our last element of a great community: growth. When God brings together a people that is unified in him and lives in generosity and love, the result is multiplication. LuHi has seen countless numbers of high schoolers graduate from our family with a growth in knowledge, character, experience and faith, and now those graduates are out in the world, influencing their communities for Christ. We have an intricate root system that connects us first and foremost to Jesus and then to each other, and that gives us the strength to be better together and make an impact for the Kingdom of God that will outlast our earthly lives.
Community is a place to be seen, heard, and known, and that’s what connection at LuHi and connection to God’s people gives us. Just like God himself lives in community as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, his perfect design is for us to live together, working together for the good of those who love him.
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