An Open to Letter to Tim Tebow on His Move to New York City
When I went through an extended season of having to eat and travel on $50 a week, my home fellowship tangibly and creatively met my needs. One week the host emptied out her change bowl, providing enough money for me to do a few hours of my freelance work at a coffee shop, around other people, instead of inside my tiny, lonely apartment. Another week, a friend made me stop at a corner deli after the meeting so she could buy me a couple bags of produce. The twin bed I used the entire time I lived in New York was a long-term loan from another couple from church.
Before then, I'd known intellectually that the church is our spiritual family, but I hadn't believed God could use fellow congregants to meet such mundane, practical needs. And they didn't just meet materials needs. Most nights, my home fellowship group concluded our time by splitting off into smaller groups (usually by gender) to share needs and briefly pray. Over weeks and months, as we prayed through various job and relationship changes, engagements, and family trials, those prayer times powerfully bonded us. Many in the city face isolation and deep loneliness, yet our home fellowship group united a diverse group of professionals with an intimacy that not only blessed us individually but also enabled us to better serve others. I doubt I could have survived as a single Christian in the city without them.
Home fellowship groups aren't New York City's only lesson in interdependence, however. The many individualistic (and well-documented) trappings of suburban life are by necessity shared in the city. Driveways and backyards are rare, leaving neighbors to share parks, stoops, and sidewalks—as well as walls and floors-slash-ceilings. Legion are stories of overheard arguments, sex and rehearsals, as well as noise-averse neighbors and toddlers who might as well be training to join a wee tap-dance troupe.