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Holy Maintenance

“Without community and faith, life can feel like a foreign concept we cannot navigate.” By Katie Laidlaw

I don’t know about you, but I am terrible at following directions. I would much rather wallow in confusion attempting to do something on my own than ask for assistance. I recently purchased a piece of furniture that required extremely complicated assembly. For the first time ever, it felt necessary to consult the provided instructions. But upon first glance, it became evident that these instructions were in a language completely foreign to me. In fact, this language was so foreign to me, I was struggling to determine what language I was looking at! The Internet was of no help to me; I was left only with my best intentions and comical efforts in assembling this piece of furniture. 

To Our Screens

When the pandemic struck in 2020, the entirety of the world was forced into a new normal. This new normal did not come with any directions, instructions, tips or tricks. Each individual was left to their own devices to navigate this new way of living. For many, the idea of community became a mere memory, while others strived to innovate new ways to cultivate various forms of community. 

Many of the beautifully innovated communities born from pandemic life have blossomed and thrived, while other more traditional forms of community have emerged once again. Many individuals have found great community and growth through utilizing online resources. The pandemic truly stretched the utilization and appreciation of technology! In fact, as a society already fascinated with technology, the pandemic may have created a deeper technology-dependent world. While technology is truly amazing, it does present some challenges. 

The availability of faith-based resources and community during the pandemic created an illusion that online community is sufficient for believers. While online community is a valid form of community, there is a potential veil allowing for lack of presence, authenticity and accountability. We can acknowledge the existence of this veil, by acknowledging how individuals interact on social media about hot topics versus in real life. Without community, individuals can live in a façade of being. 

Believers have been gifted a blueprint, or instruction manual, in God’s word: the Bible. The word of God shows the church the need for firm individual faith, but also in the development of the body of Christ, or the community of believers. Community is crucial to the development and sustenance of faith. Without community, our faith cannot be challenged or affirmed. Without community and faith, life can feel like a foreign concept we cannot navigate. 

Philippians 1:6 says, “… he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (NIV).   

God’s continued work in our lives relies on two things: sanctification, or being set free and purified from sin’s power (sanctified/sanitized; concern for our heart condition); and justification, which means being released from the penalty of sin (justified; concern for our standing with God). 

God’s promise to carry His work in us to completion shows His commitment to us through even the most difficult of seasons. God commits to preserve His people through the gifting of His joy, peace, comfort, wisdom and grace. 

Think about the process of completing a building project. The developer has researched the land and laid the groundwork to confirm construction can happen, the architect has designed the building, while the contractor sees the process of building to completion, including overseeing and directing the builders. Our lives are beautiful projects that have been drawn by God, the architect; Jesus, the developer; and Holy Spirit, the contractor. In accomplishing God’s will, we, God’s people, are the builders. 

Holy Maintenance

Our lives have a detailed plan, unique features and creative detours and processes all ordained by God, who journeys with us every step of the way. Even when the creative process is over and the people of God have been built, there is still work to do; holy maintenance must begin. 

Community makes us stronger. Oftentimes, individuals doubt the power of holy accountability and encouragement. When community is lost or fractured, we often see vast lostness and discouragement. Discouragement has the potential to cause various complications. Discouragement often comes when least expected and from people or circumstances we least expect it from. Discouragement almost always causes individuals to question identity, qualifications, abilities, standing and even faith in general.

Discouragement can lead to a deep sense of futility and new failures. Like most attacks of discouragement, there is a trace of truth in the words of the enemy. A lying, discouraging attack will often have some truth in it, but will neglect the greatest truth: God is present and has promised His restoration, renewal and transformation. 

Here is a hard truth to embrace: God’s work is never accomplished without opposition. 

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12, NIV). 

One of the biggest issues in the church today is forgetting who the true enemy is. Instead of identifying the chaotic evil of the devil, believers fall into the trap of deceit and discouragement by struggling and battling each other. The battle begins through the villainization of things, people and places that are related to the chaos within the hearts and minds of the wounded. These wounds often lead to a severing of community, leaving no room for redemption or restoration.

You might be thinking that community is hard work! However, this is why community and fellowship with believers is necessary. Community challenges and stretches our limits in various capacities, which ultimately tests and grows our faith—and our ability to be like Jesus.

The greatest threat to the devil is restoration. The greatest threat to darkness is a spirit-led believer seeking to live out the will of God. The greatest threat to God’s will is a believer who falls into the trap of discouragement, therefore quitting the continued work of God. The devil is the king of chaos, ruin, brokenness, opposition and difficulty. There is nothing he wants more than to spread this ruin and demolish any hope, joy, transformation or restoration. 

People of God cannot see full restoration in themselves and in the world around them if they cannot identify the true source of discouragement and opposition. From here, the church can move from both personal and corporate discouragement to encouragement, revival and accountability. 

For Further Study


  • Made to Belong by David Kim 
  • The Gospel-Centered Community by Robert H. Thune and Will Walker 
  • The Art of Community by Charles H. Vogl 
  • Grounded by Diana Butler Bass 


  • YouVersion Bible App
  • Verses Bible Memorization App
  • The Bible Project  


  • Harry Potter and the Sacred Text by Vanessa Zoltan and Matthew Potts 
  • Pass the Mic by The Witness 
  • The Bible Project Podcast by Tim and Jon of The Bible Project 
  • The Happy Rant by Barnabas Piper, Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin 
  • Knowing Faith by Jen Wilkin, JT English and Kyle Worley 

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