Just some thoughts on community this morning…
Community means so many different things to so many different people. Your definition of community has most likely been derived and shaped from your life experiences. The important thing is when you say or hear the word community what does it mean and look like to you?
I have discovered that finding community requires personal clarity. In fact the more I clarify what community is for me personally the more I understand that I’m no longer trying to discover it, I actually have it and have had it for a long long time. For quite some time I think I was on this unrealistic quest for “deeper” community when I already have deep friendships established in my life. Those deep friendships are scattered across the nation but my false idea of community was that we had to be in one location, doing life together.
Community is developed during different seasons of your life. I have a community of friends that I’m still connected with during my high school years. The deepest community I’ve experienced was formed in my 20’s when I lived in Santa Rosa, California where I can go back to this day and still experience the depths of relationship that was developed 0ver 20 years ago. In my early 30’s I did get unintentionally isolated for a few years, but I still managed to make some connections that enrich my life 15 years laters. Now in my latter 40’s I slowly add people to my lifelong community. Many times it’s leaders that are in the same season of life and even ahead of me in life, or I’m approached by younger leaders that ask me to pour my life into them.
It may not look like I thought it would, but the community I’ve experienced is real and has benefited me in so many ways.
Where do you find community? You’ve probably already found it! You may want to look back over your life and do an inventory. I’m sure you will discover like I have that you’ve been enriched by relationships over your lifetime.