“Intimacy” is that closeness that comes with… just being open. Intimacy and transparency are must-haves that define a healthy Christian’s life; and in Strong Tower, intimacy and transparency are a guarantee. Whether you are in EPIC Commission’s Strong Tower class or just a similar, tight-knit group of God-chasing people, there are three reasons why a rich environment of self-honest believers will help you go further than you ever could on your own!

1. Digging up the intense, sometimes-broken parts of your heart is uncomfortable.

    In any situation that requires you to be brutally honest, you can bet your lucky stars that the Lord is testing and growing you for your own well-being. For you to be honest, it requires you to sacrifice a very real piece of yourself: your privacy. Everyone has a backstory and a past; when you are able to use yours to the enemy’s disadvantage, that is a raw place from which honest growth comes. It’s along the lines of the Matthew 20 principle of paradoxes of God’s economy of growth: If you want to be strong, you have to prove your weakness. In Strong Tower, get to capitalize on enforcing the enemy’s defeat by essentially “carbon-copying” your week to your brothers or sisters-- regardless of how it looks!

2. we are made to be interdependent!

   We are not designed to be “independent,” “I’ll-fix-it-myself,” “all-need-is-God-and-the-beach” kind of people-- we are designed to be interdependent! Otherwise, God wouldn’t have said in Genesis 2:18 that man being alone is a major no beuno. In God’s design, our strength ultimately comes from Him, and He makes us whole and properly joined. But, the Lord also knew that we need to supplement each other. That’s why he’s having over seven billion of us share the planet with each other! Essentially, we need people to bolster us and keep us going all the time; and in Strong Tower, you get a whole panel of people just like you to keep you going.

3. In a word, “encouragement.”

    Man alive, isn’t life hard when no one is speaking a power-of-life word into you? Strong Tower is not like that. Strong Tower is not a spiritual/emotional massage, don’t get me wrong. It’s a challenging class, but it’s so strengthening, too. I walked into my first day of Strong Tower like, “I know I have my secret things and I’m sure they all do, too,” thinking that my experiences were vastly different to my first-year brothers. I was shocked when people started opening up and I thought, “What? You dealt with that, too?” It was so reassuring to me that I was genuinely surrounded by people that I understand and who could understand me.

   In short, you were never created or expected to do life alone. God doesn’t want it for you and deep down, you really don’t want it for yourself. God brings people into your life to be a blessing to you, to bolster you, to challenge you, and to grow you. Strong Tower-like settings challenge you to excavate the touchy areas of your own heart, to stop doing it all yourself, and to receive encouragement to keep running your race with endurance. It can be wildly uncomfortably, but, as I have found in my time in Strong Tower, all you have to do is stay soft and pliable and let the Potter do His work.

Austin Ryder
1st Year Student

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