Growing in Community

Posted by Adult & Teen Challenge on 11th Nov 2022

Growing in Community

Adult & Teen Challenge USA is proud to announce the release of its first study in the Preparing for Success series: PSNL 108 – Growing in Community. This introductory study provides us with an understanding of the building blocks of success-life skills. Life skills are the abilities that allow us to successfully navigate the challenges and demands of life. Our beliefs and the quality of our character provide the blueprint for the type of success we attempt to build.

Every person has unique values and experiences that determine how they define success. Followers of Jesus have a clear standard for determining success. The Bible teaches that true and eternal success is found in following Jesus’s example in thought, word, and action—sharing the Good News of His love, forgiveness and grace with the world.

This study challenges us to rethink our personal definitions of success and how we can prepare to grow. On this journey we will come to see the importance of healthy community engagement. Because how can we grow if no one points out of flaws or models new abilities and skills? We need the feedback, encouragement, and wisdom of other believers to help us on our journey. But this journey isn’t always easy.

We will face down the barriers of fear, anxiety, and insecurity that come between us and open, trusting relationships. And learn the importance of opening our lives to build that trust with others as we step out in faith. At the same time, we’ll also work to establish healthy, realistic, and gracious expectations for ourselves and others.

Secular culture tells us that community should make us feel good and that it should be centered around our needs. Unconditional tolerance and acceptance without any judgement or consequences is the norm. But this definition is flawed. It only works if we are already polished, perfect people. And we all know that’s not true.

Healthy community is meant to challenge and show us our areas of weakness in order to help us grow. If we are never challenged, confronted or questioned by those around us, it’s not healthy. Preparing for success requires us to learn new skills within a healthy community.

We need God and other people to help us develop the abilities needed for success. Community matters. If you’ve battled addiction or other life controlling issues, you know the damage that isolation can cause. It stunts our growth and teaching us to survive (keep one foot out of the grave) instead of life skills (how to exceed expectations and live in abundance). The good news is that no matter what we’ve been taught previously, we can learn new skills if we are willing. But we can’t learn them on our own—we need community.

The study answers these questions and more! Questions like:

  • Why is living in community important?
  • How can we adapt to this change?
  • How does character affect our ability to grow in community?
  • How do we learn to open up in community?
  • Where do we start?
  • How successful can we really be?

Life-controlling issues grow in isolation. They push us away from others, God, and our own hopes and dreams. Stepping into a successful new life in Christ requires us to reconnect and grow in community. This study will help us step beyond the barriers of the past and our fears to step into God’s abundance and we grow in community together.

Student Feedback

“I realized I'm not the only one going through this. This packet opened up my eyes to see the bigger picture of things and change my focus.”

“I used to not really like the environment here just because I liked to be isolated, but it challenged me to hear that we can't grow as much as we can without others.”

“It made me look at community as an important part of living for Christ rather than a scary place. And it made want to engage in community instead of being alone.”

“This study made me change my thoughts about living in community and unity. I never wanted to live in community but since coming to Teen Challenge my views have changed and I have been able to achieve the better life skills needed to live with others.”

“I was having thoughts of leaving the program, And I read that I can’t learn new life skills on my own. It said, "this is where community living comes into play". Then it talked about how isolation causes damage and stunts our growth. Isolation teaches survival skills instead of life skills. I isolate, and this always causes problems. So, I know that I need community now. I also want to show more patience and grace, and stop being so critical. I will adapt to change.”

“I feel that I need community now. I used to view community as a bad thing, but I now see it as good. And NEEDED.”