What is community? Where do you find one? We've moved a lot, but I’m pretty social so I fairly easily surround myself with a community. I know there are those people who are more withdrawn, not the “outgoing” type – or even those who have been wounded by people, so they build a wall around themselves (but then are bitter because they feel so alone). I get asked all the time HOW do they find a community of friends, help, coffee talk?!?!
I could give all my tips, and tools, but I have a MUCH simpler answer. JESUS. He was the friend, servant, and encouragement to all He came across. He GAVE, PERIOD.
When we come in contact with people in our lives, we need to ask Jesus, and ourselves, “What’s MY part in blessing, serving, or bettering their lives?” And when we approach relationships THIS way, communities happen. Think about it – who are you drawn to? Is it complaining, needy, negative people - or positive, helpful, servant-type people???
Sometimes we’d be surprised WHO the treasures God is asking us to find by befriending the most unsuspecting people – but that’s the beauty of doing things HIS WAY, and not creating our own boundaries, or keeping our walls or hurts up.
Then the benefit is; people who have BEEN blessed, encouraged & built up naturally overflow with the desire to return the blessing (and isolating walls come down). Really think about it - if someone has been a friend, encouragement, or come to your aide during a rough time, don’t you look for ways to return the favor – and VOILA – Community is born. People loving each other.
My favorite picture of community...
43-45Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person's need was met.
46-47They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved. Acts 2:43-47
I'm not suggesting we all sell everything, but I absolutely love the heart that they all pooled their resources so that each person's need was met, and that they lived in wonderful harmony, exuberant & joyful. Is that too big of a goal?