Facebook recently put together a little video for me, and I was pleasantly surprised by its message:
“Community means a lot. What we do matters.”
Last October, I joined Facebook again (after several years away) because I wanted to connect more; specifically, I kept missing out on church events and baby showers because event communication happens largely online.
But for as great as these online connections are, Facebook isn’t where authentic community happens. Authentic community happens at baseball games and on long car rides with friends … it happens after Sunday service and over home cooked meals … it happens crying on your best friend’s couch and laughing with your crew on the dance floor.
If we avoid and don’t pursue those real life connections, we’re not going to have authentic community.
But community also doesn’t happen from just showing up to events.
Community happens when we lay down self and really look at the people around us. It happens when we learn to stop making assumptions… When we learn to speak love languages that aren’t our own, not because we’re fluent but because we realize doing so will reach other people… When we’re vulnerable, and when we learn to be safe for other people to be vulnerable around… When we evaluate ourselves to see if we’re really doing these things!
Community isn’t easy – it’s intentionality. It doesn’t come naturally and it’s something that can be offered but not handed to us. But as we grow and build, it gets easier – deeper – stronger – and more fun! It’s a place of laughter and adventure, of safety and service, of labor and rest, of forgiveness and freedom.
Community is worth striving for!