The group of people you do life with, the ones you enjoy hanging out with, the ones who challenge you, encourage you and bless you… those people are your community. It can be your neighbors, small group, the other baseball parents or your Sunday School Class. Our community is less about the organization and more about people intentionally connecting and doing life together.
Your community doesn’t feel so important until you need them. They’re the ones who show up at the hospital when something happens to a family member, they’re the ones who take care of your kids when you have a work emergency, they’re the ones who attend the birthday parties, graduation parties, weddings and other monumental life moments. They’re also the ones you cook out with in the back yard, the ones who gather for leftover friends-giving (you, this is a thing), and the ones who you go out on group dates with.
They say friends are the family you choose and your community is the people you surround yourself with to love you in the good times and hard. They know you and your family. They stand by you in good times and help you take out the trash (literal and emotional) at others. They pray for you and your family, speak life and truth fueled by love.
I’ve had the privilege of being a part of some type of community for at least 20 years of my adult life. As soon as we got involved in church we plugged into a lifegroup. I was loved intentionally by my parents community my entire life.
Instead of a do’s and don’ts for community I’m just gonna share the do’s. Hopefully they’ll help as you pursue, embrace, and engage in your community of friends.
D0: Make time for community.
We all have full schedules. We fill our time with the things we want to do. Put this at the top of your priority list and make time for it. Your family needs community. Your marriage needs community. You need community. Pursue the people that will grow with you and male life a little more fun!
Do: Invite people in.
Give them permission to be a part of your life. An official invitation can look like: “let’s hang out”, “let’s get out families together”, “want to join us?”, “we would love to get to know you guys” or whatever else sounds like an invitation. Remember as a kid being invited to the birthday parties with those cute little cards your friends mom hand wrote in the blanks for every kid in your class? Kinda like that, minus the inviting the whole class part. The people you invite are strategic and specific because your pursue the people you feel like God is leading you to invest in the relationship and embrace them so they can become a bigger part of your life and you in theirs.
Do: Show up for your community.
As you get to know them, you know what they care about and you get to care about it too. I’m not saying you have to show up for every single pee-wee baseball game spring, summer ad fall. I am saying when we are invested in our community, you engage in their lives and their kids are part of the package deal. We’ve attended graduations, volleyball games, and drama performances that our kids weren’t a part of simply because someone in our community that we’ve chosen to do life with had a child involved.
Do: Let them show up for you.
When you’ve going through tragedy or even when you just feel like you’ve hit a rough patch in life, in your marriage, with your kids or even, dare I say, with your church, let them know. If they don’t know, they can’t show up and do their job. As a community we are called to engage, link arms, hold each other up, fill in the gaps, love in hard places and celebrate the good stuff.
Jesus modeled what it looks like to live in community. He had all types of people around Him, different ages and life stages, with different stories and backgrounds. What they all had in common, a love for God, a hunger to become more like Christ and a genuine love for each other. They sold what they had and gave it to the poor, left their livelihood to join in and be a part of community, loved the least and served each other, together.
Jesus did it, so can we. If you aren’t connected to a community, ask God to open doors and illuminate the people you are supposed to spend time with. Then do it. Overcome the awkward, invite the coupe over for dinner, sit by that mom who’s all alone at the ball field and start to do life together. One moment, one question, one conversation at a time. Let’s get good at community like Jesus was good at community.
I’ve made it halfway through!!!! That is worth celebrating and you, the ones reading this post, are my writing community. You’re the reason why I write, why I want to be a better writer and why I share more of my stories. This post is part of a #write31days challenge.
Please take a minute and check out the rest of my posts as I share my heart for you and what God has entrusted me with. If something speaks to you, let me know. If you know someone who needs to hear what I’ve shared, please share it with them. We are in this together learning to love Jesus and living like we believe everything written in His Word.
Day 9- I took a little break
Day 11- A Heart fro My Man **Crowd favorite