February 3, 2015
My last semester of high school something strange happened. My best friend Anne and I started getting invited to slumber parties of the really popular girls. Maybe it was our Tina Fey/Amy Poehler like humor (yeah, right) or the fact that we had been in a mime and clown group (okay, so not that either) but we said yes and just went with it. Surely this was real community. Community that would last forever.I didn’t see most of them again until our 10 year reunion.
I love people. I love relationship. My biggest love is a group of about 6 or 7 people on some sort of shared adventure. Put me in a room with others who risk to be known and “show their cards” so to speak, and I am one happy girl.
This weekend I am speaking to a group of college girls and the seniors asked me to speak about community. I have been praying and mulling over the topic for days now. I thought I would share some of my observations over the years about what I think does or doesn’t make a community:
- Real community is hard work. Rarely does it just happen (unless it is a mission trip, summer project – short trip with a shared goal).
- Real community requires time.
- Disappointment with others can lead to something good.
- Conflict either deepens the relationship or ends it (ending meaning be shallow or fake and act like nothings wrong)
- Real community requires risk to share and be known – believes the best.
- Real community lets others be a mess in your presence. As Larry Crabb puts it, “You can be a mess because you are in the presence of love.”
- Real community won’t happen if you are with people who cannot give, they only take and focus on what is in it for them.
- Real community gives space and time for God to move in one another’s lives without feeling the need to “fix.”
- Real community includes the social, but if it is just social then it isn’t real community.
- Real community with certain people is often just for a season.
- Real community shows up in others dark night of the soul.
- Real community sacrifices for the others.
- Real community reminds you of who you are and who you are not.
I could elaborate on each point, but I think I will give the talk first. 🙂 I would love to hear your lessons what makes or doesn’t make real community.