How to Build Community
As much as I enjoy building this community through little Lenten gifts and through living and doing life together, it makes me nervous for post-Race life.
I’ve experienced Christian community before. Yet when it ended, it ended. There was a firm deadline and the community expired before my very eyes.
Having tasted community, it’s hard to go back to the way things were before.
After leading a mission trip over the summer, I almost had a melt down in the grocery store aisle when I was purchasing food for one rather than 30.
What about when that becomes the norm?
When I’m only doing my own laundry? When I’m driving myself in my own car alone? When there is no one else to give the second candy bar to?
Reality is: there’s always someone to give the second candy bar to. You just have to listen harder to find that person.
Maybe it’s the cashier. Maybe it’s your neighbor. Maybe it’s the homeless man at the end of the off ramp.
1. Be Intentional
Building community is possible in post-Race life; it just takes intentionality.
Intentionality to say: “Hey, come eat dinner with me.”
Intentionality to say: “I was at the grocery store and saw these chips and thought of you. Here you go.”
Intentionality to say: “I’d love to come over and help you clean your house.”
2. Be Brave
Here on the Race we’re not allowed to go anywhere ourselves. It’s a super annoying rule that makes my mother happy.
It also means if I want to go to the store, I need to find a buddy. If I want to go to the internet café, I need to find a buddy. If I want to…
Often times, every member of my team is busy doing something else. I have to interrupt what they’re doing and ask if they’ll go with me.
Sometimes they say no.
But sometimes they say yes.
It takes courage to interrupt a teammate for your own selfish desire (especially when you’re not buying something for them).
Just like it takes courage to build community in the States.
Instead of sitting at home and waiting for it to come to you, send the text inviting her out to coffee.
Make the phone call about movie night even if you know their schedules are busy.
3. Begin Small
Don’t expect a huge community to build itself overnight.
Celebrate the small victories of having someone over for dinner once.
Rejoice that your calendar has a coffee date every week all month.
Just like every other growth in life, it takes baby steps to build a community and there is never an end to the growth potential.
What can you do today to build community right where you are?