Weldon mentioned it just last week.
Mike, the lead pastor at Trinity Vineyard, talks about it often.
What is “it?”
Community—the connecting of like minded people or people with a common interest or goal.
It was something Weldon said that struck me deeply.
He talked about hunter and gatherer communities and how being shunned or put out from your community….to be ostracized was equivalent to a death sentence. Because on your own, the likelihood of survival was slim.
Hezekiah Walker even wrote a song that says, “I need you to survive.”
When I worked for a local grocery store, I always knew who the stay-at-home-moms were or the elderly people who didn’t get a lot of visits from family. They were the ones who wanted to talk about any and everything for long periods of time not realizing I was on the clock! They were looking to connect; if only for a few minutes anyway. I made sure to listen and to smile.
Mike once said that getting you separated from community…getting you isolated is a common tactic and it’s quite successful.
This whole notion of, “I don’t need anybody” or “I’ll do it by myself” is a sure setup for failure.
We’re no good apart.
We need people — the right people.
We need community.
Say what you will about social media but it’s filling a need for community and belonging for a lot of people. Do people over share? Certainly. Are the online relationships real? Some are. But Facebook is one big community with many subgroups and and people gather for many reasons.
There’s even a whole site dedicated to helping people Meetup in real life because people are looking for a place to belong. We’re looking to connect. We need to connect. We need to find people with shared interests and goals and commune for our own sanity’s sake.
Over the summer I went to my first small group meeting and I enjoyed it. It was fun getting to know the people I saw every Sunday and I’ve finally memorized a few names.
If you’ve separated yourself and have been living in isolation, maybe it’s time to trust again and reconnect.
I know it’s not good for us to be alone.
I know the benefits of community.
I know how important it is to have someone who can “talk you down” from the proverbial ledge. To have someone who will listen and encourage. And if I’ve learned anything over the years it’s that your community doesn’t roll hundreds deep. If you have two people you can call, you are doing well. And don’t be surprised as some folk rotate out and new people rotate in.
Such is the dynamic of community.