Give Me the Simple Life: Being in Community


The following is a devotion written by author Philip Yancey for The Daily Bread, RBC:

Winston Churchill once said that he related to the church rather like a flying buttress: He supported it from the outside. (A flying buttress is an external support that reinforces the walls of old cathedrals.) I tried that strategy for a while, after coming to believe Christian doctrine sincerely and committing myself to God.

I am not alone. Fewer people attend church on Sunday than claim to follow Christ. Some feel burned by a former experience. Others simply “get nothing out of church.” Why bother?

Today, I could hardly imagine life without church. Church has filled a need for me that can’t be met in any other way. An early-church leader wrote,

“The virtuous soul that is alone . . . is like the burning coal that is alone. It will grow colder rather than hotter.”

Christianity is not a purely intellectual, internal faith. It can be lived only in community. At a deep level, I sense that church contains something I desperately need. Whenever I abandoned church for a time, I found that I was the one who suffered. My faith faded, and the crusty shell of lovelessness grew over me again. I grew colder rather than hotter.

And so, my journeys away from church have always circled back to the church.


What are your thoughts on faith and community? Share in the comment section below for a chance to win a copy of Amish Values for Your Family! Winner will be announced next Tuesday.


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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Deanna Stevens says:

    I totally agree with you that our journeys away from church have & should always circle back to the church. Enjoying The Simple Life 🙂

  2. Linda McFarland says:

    Faith/community is very important to me. With that said I must confess that my churches (Relocated to different areas so have been a part of several churches) have been the places where I have been hurt the most. Whether it’s because you expect more from Christians or you let your guard down more I’m not sure so I do understand why people are reluctant to be a part of a church congregation. Thanks for the opportunity to win & share…Linda

  3. Michelle Morrison says:

    Having a church family is important; I have been through times where I questioned the whole “church” scene; I grew up in a church that pretty much based your value to God by whether you racked up a perfect church attendance record or not, and that extreme approach isn’t right. I did find when I wasn’t attending church regularly I felt like I was drifting. I go to a good church now that encourages you in your walk with God.

  4. Lois Lentz says:

    My church has offered me so much fellowship and love that I consider all the people like extended family. It is a small church with a Bible driven base. I have learned so much about how to live a God centered life here and have found peace and love. I love my church!