The Importance of Community
This article covers my 2nd post in a series on community. You can find the first post here.
What does community actually mean?
What’s so important about community?
Why should I care about local community?
But what does community actually mean?
That word C-O-M-M-U-N-I-T-Y is heard all over the internet and social media these days. It’s almost like a buzz word.
Community for coffee. Moms community. Community TV series. (What’s that even about?) There are Buzz Feed communities. Technology communities, and garden association communities.
Community can be described in several different ways according to the dictionary. It’s considered to be a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood).
Or it can also be described as a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood)
I personally like to think of community as a combination of those things people in close proximity; as in a small town or church and also share a common interest. Food, book club, mothers, newly widowed. Whatever common interest that draws you together.
I see a community as encouragement.
The bible has a verse that says it so well:
| And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.| Hebrews 10:24
That brings me to point #2.
What’s so important about community?
I don’t know about you but there are some days where I am major down and out. I mean I feel discouraged. I feel that what I’m doing is worthless. So I need community. It’s the friends, family and community around me that encourages me when I’m beating myself up on the inside. We could all use a dose of encouragement. And who could be better than your neighbors?
Creating community provides a safe place of encouragement and love. With our monthly girl’s nights we have a blast during spa night or fondue night. But we’re also able to love on each other. Just recently a mom opened up and asked for specific advice on how to handle a friend ‘bad-mouthing’ her child. We were able to share our thoughts on how she could handle this situation. We’ve been able to pull together and go Christmas caroling and share a meal with someone in need.
These things wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t create a safe, routine place to hang out. Once a month we get together and enjoy conversation, food but most importantly a friendship to build upon. And that doesn’t happen without effort.
When I first moved into the neighborhood I knew nobody. But a kind sweet woman of similar age lived across the street and she befriended me right away. It didn’t matter that I dressed totally different from her. It didn’t bother her that I had no idea how to be a good friend. She invited me for walks, for lunch, for shopping trips. Eventually we became the best of friends. All because she looked beyond the hard things and just went out of her way to be a blessing. I’ll never forget it and it’s inspired me.
Community is vital to our well-being.
Why should I care about the local community?
OK. So you don’t think you need encouraging. You’re not a ‘people’ person. You’re not willing to put yourself out there for you.
But what if you put yourself out there for that neighbor or friend who desperately might need encouragement?
- How about that recently widowed neighbor.
- How about that neighbor who just got a horrible diagnosis.
- What about that family that is struggling to pay their bills.
Shouldn’t we care? If people in our local vicinity are struggling I’d love to know how I can lend a hand or give a meal or offer to babysit.
What if we were overlooked when we needed help more than ever? What if no one seemed to care when we were at our deepest depths?
Jesus is our prime example in this case. I loved this article by Tracy Miles on “Be the Hands and Feet”.
I’m so thankful for the moments in my life where someone stepped in and said ” Let me help you.” “I’m taking the kids overnight for you.” or “I’m bringing you a meal.”
Those earthly moments give us a glimpse of the beauty in others. And I want to do the same. It gives others a taste of the beauty of heaven.
Let your light shine.
| In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.|
Til we meet and eat again,
FOLLOW ALONG : Gather for Bread
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