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I woke up to the blaring beep of someone else’s alarm clock. A quiet hush was over the girls' dorm when I left my room. As I got ready, I saw people walking through the bathroom and hallways, some energized and prepared for the day, while others looked rather sleepy.

Walking into the kitchen, I smelled eggs cooking and saw another girl making herself an egg and cheese bagel. I chatted with her and one of our friends for a few minutes, while filling my bottle with cold water. As I glanced throughout the dorm, I noticed people everywhere, students and staff alike, spending time with the Lord.

This is what life is like living in community.

I am on staff at YWAM Tyler, and I live in the girls' dorm. It can be chaotic and challenging but also so beautiful. For people who have never done it before, there may be questions of what it is truly like.

Community living is one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. People who love the Lord, who come from different backgrounds, cultures, and history, come together here in unity. Everyone is open and available for a quick chat or a deep conversation. There is always someone to talk to!

There is also time for impromptu worship, joking around, and playing games. It is usually pretty active and noisy in the dorm, except for the reserved hours of quiet time while people are sleeping. The whole dorm comes together multiple times a month to fellowship, have fun, and deepen relationships. The friendships built while living together are extraordinary and can last a lifetime!

However, it is not always a walk in the park. Life in community means interacting with other people, and sometimes not everyone gets along. People have to learn to give grace when people get under their skin and what it looks like to speak up when their feelings are hurt so that restoration can occur.

We often reference Matthew 18:15-16 as a way to deal with conflict. In the passage, Jesus talks about how when someone sins against you, you should go to them alone to express your feelings. If that doesn't work, you can bring along one or two others to help. We also use that same model for when it may not necessarily be a sin issue, but even if it is just a miscommunication or a difference in personality or opinion.

There is also a lack of personal space, so it can take some time to find ways to get alone when necessary. Living on such a beautiful campus allows for going on walks as an easy way to get that alone time.

If living in community is something that holds you back from pursuing missions, don’t let it become a scary, intimidating thing that keeps you from God’s plan for your life! Step out in faith, and you will be surprised by the blessings that life in community can bring.

Does thinking about this make you desire to be a missionary and experience life in community? Reach out to us, and we can share more about our Discipleship Training Schools and how you can be launched into missions!

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Abby Gilliland

Written by Abby Gilliland

Abby is on staff at YWAM Tyler and works in the Student Communications department. She has a deep passion for the Lord, and you will often find her sporting her yellow crocs while frequenting her favorite place, the laundromat.