by Kelsey Sorvick
Recently, I've seen the word “tribe” flying around, particularly on the internet. It refers to a group of people who share a common interest, usually in the form of a close knit group of friends or an online community. The hashtag #findyourtribe has over 300,000 hits on Instagram, and #findyourtribeandlovethemhard has nearly as much traction. People are seeking a community that gives them a feeling of unity and collective purpose. Belonging to a tribe means that we are not alone. We are surrounded by people with whom we can face the world as a unified front.
When I transitioned to being a stay-at-home mom, I struggled with this concept of “finding my tribe”. I sought out a “mom tribe” of other stay-at-home moms, pondered the idea of a “book club tribe”, and was even willing to settle for a “coffee tribe” of like-minded conversationalists to meet with in local coffee joints. I was looking for others who fit into the same mold as me.
I discovered that there were so many individuals willing and waiting to do life with me, and I didn't need to look very hard for them. The people that God had ready for me, most of whom did not fill my predetermined “tribe” mold, became my community instead, and the most beautiful friendships blossomed in the most unexpected places. As believers, we have a built-in tribe in our local church! A unified group of believers, all pressing toward the common goal of Christ-likeness.
I am reminded of the story of Ruth and Naomi. When Ruth's husband dies, rather than returning to her people, she tells her mother-in-law, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16). Despite being different ages and from completely different people groups, Ruth and Naomi were unified in the fact that they followed the one true God.
There is such beauty in a diversified tribe. Our church community is filled with people of varying ages, interests, and walks of life. Regardless of outward differences, we are all unified in our love for the Lord and our desire to live lives worthy of the gospel. Our purpose unifies us. Jesus is our common ground. We can navigate the storms of this life together, as a united front, learning alongside each other and growing together.
And that, my friends, is a tribe that I'm grateful to be a part of!