There’s a unique vibe at Metro; this is what really caught my attention. Everything about Metro is taken seriously and every detail is thought out to the core. The praise music and the sermons are all executed to flow together. Even the placement of members of the Welcoming Team on Sunday morning is intentional. I love seeing our members reach out and engage in fellowship with other members and even new visitors on Sundays. It has been so encouraging to see so many devoted hearts pouring out faith and dedication to the church. Every person I’ve met has been very welcoming; I immediately felt at home.
Even though I already knew many of the members as counselors from a camp I attended in the past, visiting Metro was a different experience. The sense of familiarity that Metro possessed made me feel comfortable. However, after committing and adjusting to Metro, I knew this was more than just being comfortable or present at a church. Before Metro, I struggled to connect and be intentional with others in the context of a church community. It was primarily due to the fact that I was afraid to open up. When I plugged into Metro, my fear of opening up was immediately met with brothers and sisters who emphasized the importance of community-dependence and Gospel-centrality. More specifically, it was through the Metro college group that I learned to grow in a Gospel-centered community.
I fell in love with Metro’s college group after my first Community Group (CG) gathering. I knew I had found my new home when I attended my first CG. My now close sister-in-Christ had smiled and waved her hand at me, gesturing me to sit next to her. She had immediately welcomed me into the group as if she had already known me. This reminded me of Romans 15:7, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God”. Since then, I‘ve grown closer and more comfortable with the members of the college group through meals and other avenues of fellowship. As I developed these relationships, I realized that these relationships were unique because they were so Gospel-centered and intentional.
Ever since we started eating meals and hanging out after Sunday services, we have built a closer connection as a college group. Sharing meals with one another created a more intimate time which allowed us to talk with each other and find commonalities in between bites. At first, we would go out to eat lunch after service and quickly go back to our private lives. But as time went on, we found ourselves staying out later and later. From grabbing dessert at Custard & Cakes, to catching a movie, to attempting to hike, we always found ways to spend time as a group. At the end of each Sunday, I look back and find so much joy in seeing how the Gospel is working in our lives. I’m thankful that through the Gospel, we can be together and share life’s moments with one another.
Metro’s college group has impacted my life in that I found people I can trust and be vulnerable with. I have been able to be more honest and real with this group of people. I have become comfortable enough to share my struggles which has in turn created more fruitful conversations. Regardless of the circumstances, I know that our members are always there to listen to any of my struggles and to encourage me through difficult times. Although our group may be small, our group fosters Gospel growth and intentionality in a very engaging way. These brothers and sisters are people who will sympathize with you and lead you back to the cross.
It was during the time I took a break from Metro due to family issues that I developed a deeper sense of trust with our college ministry. At the time, I was commuting to school and there was a lot tension at home; tension to the point where I was not even allowed to go out and hang out with friends. Honestly, I had lost hope and didn’t know how to handle the situation. I was devastated, and as a result, I was hesitant to talk about my circumstances with others. I thought that God was letting me suffer alone, but to my surprise, Metro was praying and slowly reaching out to me. Even though I couldn’t see it, Metro was there for me. I still received love as others continued to reach out to check up on me. Through many prayers, I was able to come back to Metro and plug back into the community. After realizing that I had people rooted in the Gospel who were willing to reach out to me, I realized that I had a community that I could lean on.
As a college student slowly transitioning into the real world, I think it’s important to find a community that can keep you accountable; a community grounded upon an unwavering and firm foundation. God has brought this community into my life for a reason and I am more than happy to call Metro my second family. It has been such a blessing and encouragement to have grown closer to the rest of the church in the past two years during my time at Metro. I thank God for blessing me with a church that has opened my heart to the power and importance of having a Gospel-centered community.