Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

“God places the lonely in families.” Psalm 68:6 NLT

Harvest is a large church and at times may feel overwhelming to those who are new, or even those who have been around forever. It is easy to get lost in the crowd—except for when someone makes it a point to make you feel at home. They remember you. That person with the badge around their neck saying, “I can help” or the person at the Connect Table calling out your name or the people at the door welcoming you with a smile as you walk in.

Tim and Janette Boyd know this from experience. Six years ago, when they first started coming to Harvest, they didn’t know anyone. Janette felt lonely without community; they joined the men’s and women’s Bible studies to get plugged into a small group and Janette started going to Exhale, to work out with women in a smaller group setting. They wanted to connect with people from the church so they joined ministries that fit their family and lifestyle. The men’s Bible study provided an outlet for Tim to spend time with other men in the Word; even with a long day at work he wanted to go to study to be refreshed and encouraged. “One of the greatest things about being in Valor is the fellowship and the camaraderie that is had with the men in your group. Not only do we discuss God’s Word and get multiple views on questions that are asked in the study, but we also know that what we share in the groups stays there. It’s so wonderful having a group of men you can trust that are going through or have gone through similar situations and can relate to your hardships. Christian men walking with Christ, that is what Valor is all about.”

Having both experienced life without a strong Christian community surrounding them, they recognize the importance of the truth found in Ecclesiastes that “two are better than one.” When one falls the other can pick them up and help them press toward the mark and not live in the past.

Remembering the times when she wasn’t involved at church, Janette shared that her friends in the world were her community. “Community can affect you in a good way or a bad way.” When you are “in the world you get depressed and live in the past,” but when you are around fellow believers “the community instills a hunger and thirst for the Lord and the things of the Lord and the world just fades away.” You get a heavenly perspective on life as you spur one another on to good works (Hebrews 10:24). “The Lord knows we need each other and relationships can encourage us. The Bible says to lift one another up and encourage one another and that’s what we do at Exhale. [We] do life together . . . no one is left behind.”

Their girls, Kylie and Teya, are involved in the high school and junior high ministries, serving also in MYT and the children’s praise team. They love the community in the youth ministries. And with V2, the entire family is going through the same study. As parents of teens, Tim and Janette appreciate being on the same page with their children in the Word, discussing what they are studying at church, sharpening one another. It “is edifying to us as a family. I love that our church meets the needs of each individual on all levels.”

A strong community “wants to glorify God and not themselves.” But “you have to have a will to want to seek out the community because you can deny the community just like you can deny the Lord.” At Harvest, “our church is so friendly . . . perfect love casts out fear . . . you just show up and the community reaches out to you. It’s their desire to bring you in.”

Today, Tim and Janette both serve as leaders in the men’s and women’s ministries, and you just might see Tim at the front door in OC welcoming people as they walk in, as he is a part of the Security team; or you may see Janette leading Exhale or at the Connect Table calling out your name.

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear