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Community is regularly unscheduled contact

Where do you meet your need for community? We find community with those whom we have regularly unscheduled contact.   Going to church on Sundays doesn’t count, though it can be a good place to meet folks.   Small groups are good, but don’t really count either. I remember getting t…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Where do you meet your need for community? We find community with those whom we have regularly unscheduled contact.
 
Going to church on Sundays doesn’t count, though it can be a good place to meet folks.
 
Small groups are good, but don’t really count either. I remember getting together in a number of small groups that never did anything else with one another. We didn’t have community.
 
Dorm life can be great for community. Everybody is in close proximity – you can hang out in one another’s rooms.
 
Take the same building and fill it with apartments and you can extinguish the possibility of community.
 
I’m in a bit of a community desert these days. Too much travel and work has made me inaccessible. Maybe the old watering holes seem a little dry now.
 
I’m going over to Jeff Hylton’s tonight to play cards and watch football. I care about the Falcons and hope they beat the Packers, but as much as anything, I’m hoping to connect with friends. I need more unscheduled connection – how about you?

Comments (9)

  • Yeah…. community is lacking right now, especially unscheduled connection. It’s amazing how much it affects us; but I suppose we were made to live in community. When we know that, we crave it.

  • Ha. Check out that timing. I just had a significant conversation just yesterday about what this is currently looking like in my life. And while I have deep community with a few people in my life, I am in the process of trying to figure out what that looks like beyond my house and the people I live with. Being in a huge church culture like Bethel, it can be easy to feel lost in the shuffle and use that as an excuse for lethargy and placing a blame on circumstances instead of figuring out what you want and going after it. Tonight, I am making a list of what I want out of a community in the season I am currently in, and the interests I have. Now, I have to take steps to see where connections can be made and how I can get involved in going after those things with others. I think that is the hardest part for most people. Community isn’t cultivated by just hanging out together or getting together for coffee, but by exploring a similar passion, dream, or goal together.

    Thanks for chasing after it, Seth. And letting us in on your process.

  • No doubt about it, we were all made for community. My community is when I go down to the barn and all the boarder’s are hanging out or we gather around a bon-fire at night with the Grandkids.

  • I have been trying to articulate this definition to our pastor, but haven’t been able to come up with a definition I understand. I just know that what the leadership says they have for community isn’t it. I like this definition: Unscheduled connection. Now I know the definition of what I’m looking for, too.

  • I feel sorry for the younger generation who doesn’t know how to unplug from all their technology and have REAL community. Where are many of boys? “Engaging” in on-line gaming. Where are many of the girls? Isolated in their rooms gossiping on Facebook. What will happen to the American (and other) culture(s) as fewer people know how to relate to each other? How will the next generation react to a person that they can’t control like they can their electronic devices? How will they react to authority or know how to manage people on the job? It is so much easier to relate to a machine than a person. People are messy. They are complicated. But without people, there’s no real community and the planet becomes a very lonely place.

    For the Christian community, missions is a great avenue to challenge people not only to be ambassadors for Christ, but to rock their small world and see things the way God sees them. Then what was once important begins to fade away and a whole new way of thinking and praying emerges. Lives are changed resulting in better and more authentic community.

  • I’m right there with everyone. But the problem most of us have is, how do we do something about this? I only know one person (maybe two) who lives close enough to their best friends to be able to come hang out or care for each others’ kids at the drop of a hat…

    Is that saying something about our culture? The more mobile we are or the more technology/society says we can “connect” with our friends, the shallower our relationships actually become.

  • This made me weep today. God moved me from Iowa to Oklahoma 1.5 years ago, and I left the dearest most wonderful community to an enviornment and wonderful church that for all of its “community”…is the hardest place for me to remove my mask and truly, truly be real. i had begun to think that possibly I expected too much for that to ever happen in my life again, and actually, this article brought much hope to me. thanks!

  • This definition of community makes it tougher for me to check that box off. But I like the idea of having a definition that requires me to get more out of it. With the busyness of life, work, and kids, this is hard to do, but important. Thanks for the reminder, Seth.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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