One of God’s greatest blessings to us was giving us community. The people around us have the ability to encourage us, celebrate with us, cry with us and get crazy with us. It sounds great, it can be great, but do we all experience it? Community is not something that just happens. Whether we are extroverted or introverted, we all need to make an effort to form community with those in our lives and move from superficial friendships to real, living relationships.
If you were in church this Sunday, you heard Pastor Todd’s sermon entitled, “Two Are Better Than One” on this subject. If you were not able to make it, it will be posted here on the website in a couple weeks and I recommend checking it out! You can find our sermons here.
I think a big stumbling block for me when developing community is the natural desire to think only of myself. I am slightly introverted and some days it takes a big effort for me to reach out. This isn’t to say that having alone time or family time is wrong – even Jesus took some time away from the crowds and from His disciples – but am I also putting a priority on developing my relationships?
Donald Miller, in his book, “Blue Like Jazz,” writes the following about his difficulty in adjusting to community:
“Tuck was one of my best friends when he moved in. He is still one of my best friends, but for a while I wanted to kill him. He did not understand that life was a movie about me. Nobody ever told him. He would knock on my door while I was reading, come in and sit down in a chair opposite me, and then he would want to talk, he would want to hear about my day. I couldn’t believe it. The audacity to come into my room, my soundstage, and interrupt the obvious flow of the story with questions about how I am.
I would give Tuck little signals that I didn’t want to talk like eye rolls or short answers to his questions. I would stare into space so he thought I was crazy or snore so he would think I had fallen asleep. I think I hurt his feelings. He would get very frustrated with me, go upstairs, and wonder why I was acting that way. He only did this a few times before he dismissed me as a jerk. I almost lost the friendship, to be honest.”
Do you ever feel this way? Like people are interrupting your plans for your day when they reach out to connect with you? Remember that God has given us the need for community for a reason and if He thinks it’s important, than we should too. Keep an eye open this week for opportunities to get past the superficial with people in your life. It might mean a small sacrifice of your time, but God promises it’s worth it!
Wondering how you can practically can work on community? At FirstCov one of our core values is “Growth through Groups” and we would love to have you plugged into one of our small groups. These are places where you can really develop those deep relationships through fun, sharing, study, and more. Contact Brian Majerus at firstname.lastname@example.org to get some info on this ministry!
- Leah Gunderson
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers (1 John 3:16).