This series started with us talking about the value of people over systems and how personal relationships really are the fuel for every system and structure. For this last post in the series, I thought we’d talk more about doing community together.
"Community" is sort of a buzzword right now, but that doesn't have to stop us from recognizing the incredible benefits that come from real, vulnerable relationships. The idea that we should be pursuing these types of relationships definitely shouldn't only be applied to teams, ministry or otherwise. In fact, the whole concept is built around a family structure, and should flow naturally from our pursuit of honest relationships with ourselves and the people in every area of our lives.
Honest community creates a bond and camaraderie that doesn't come any other way. Doing life together with your team creates trust and a shared commitment to whatever goal you're pursuing. Life happens in community - sharing bread and wine together is the foundational stuff of life lived to the full.
We get to choose the people around us we are close to, and pursuing community and doing life with those people is a great way to make that happen!
Whether you’re the leader, or you’re just a part of a team and want to see a closer knit community; Don’t wait for someone else to get something started. Be bold and take the initiative. Others will follow your lead. This can happen much more organically than we realize!
If you’re leading, make community a core value and set up regular opportunities for connection and relationship building. We don’t have to overthink this. If you’re unsure what to do, FOOD is universally accepted as wonderful (well, at the very least necessary) and is a great excuse to get people together.
Create A Safe Environment
Nobody will want to be a part of a community they feel is scary. Love covers, and we need to learn how to walk along side people with our arms around them instead of our fingers pointed at them.
Be Aware Of Your Team's Culture
Even if your team's modus operandi is something you'd like to change, it's important to be aware of where things are currently. Take an honest look at the situation and get a plan for where you want this to go in the future. Sometimes things need to happen slowly and organically. Scheduled times may seem rigid and awkward to some. On the other hand, your team may respond better to regularly scheduled events and hangouts. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from the people around you. Get to know what they enjoy doing. Pay attention to things that work. You’ll know when it feels right!
Don't Give Up
Being in close community can be hard! Most people on the planet are not YOU; they have different attitudes, preferences and ways of seeing the world. When we can create an environment of open dialogue and acceptance, the payoff for our relationships and communities will be lasting and have a huge impact. Remember that close friendships and communities take time and real effort to build. Don’t be discouraged when it feels like nothing is happening. Remind yourself that you’re planting seeds, take your time, and you will see a great return on your efforts.