Creating Community

If you care about community, discount excuses like this:

We’re too busy
I don’t want to be intrusive
Others might want to spend time with me
There’s nobody around who cares about what I care about
My virtual community is enough
(If your circumstances really don’t allow for the development of community in your life, ask hard questions about priorities)

Be attracted especially to three kinds of people:

a) people who embody (or show signs of) the kind of whole life and wisdom that you would like to see more of in your life
b) People who are in need and open to relational helping
c) others, like yourself, who are wanting more community in their life

Create patterns and structures that involve common life (regular time together with others – don’t count on spontaneity)

Create patterns of interdependence (like tool-sharing or even car-sharing)

Practice hospitality (without questions of balance or reciprocity) & celebrate with others

Communicate vulnerability (ask for help)

Create or get involved in projects where you need to work alongside others

Ask for others to join you when making changes to live more justly with others and with the environment (or at least for their support, even if they don’t agree with how radical your steps are)

Takes risks of pushing past “normal socializing” – conventional won’t lead to unconventional results

Confront conflict in ways that show you care about the relationship and are confident the relationship will survive the conflict. Guard against letting relationships slip away because some conflict made it uncomfortable.

Find ways to increase geographical proximity – be willing to commit to relationships with people

Ask questions that initiate creative responses from your friends, especially about how to follow God in today’s world

Create community in more than one direction (example – one community focused on common Christian values, one community focused on your geographic community or local need)

written by Walter Thiessen

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