January 26, 2011

The Conflicting Topic of Community

I've recently been in a number of conversations that center around the idea of "Community." Not the television show but the idea or philosophy of community. I'm convinced that it might be one of the more mysterious ideas in our world.

Clearly, it is a pretty important deal in Scripture. One of Jesus' biggest deals with the Pharisees was their inability to have a real relationship with anybody, let alone God. They had it in their head that if they said the right things and did the right things that people would look up to them and that they would enter the Kingdom of Heaven. And they were wrong.

Here's the interesting thing to me: Community is unable to achieved without some level of conflict. If you're unwilling to have some conflict in your quest for community, then you're unwilling to have community. They go hand in hand. The question is how will you deal with it. How will you handle the conflict that will inevitably come?

So on the topic of Community I thought I would offer some humble wisdom points in regards to achieving Community:

1) Community is built in the Purposeful.
Those times of serious conversation, those moments of in depth extroversion, the prayerful glimpses into another person's life are some of the most intense "community-building" pieces in any relationship.

2) Community is built in the Purposeless.
I don't know about all of you, but it seems that the times of just hanging out and watching The Office or playing cards or spending a weekend playing video games that you haven't played in ages can seem to serve no purpose. But the reality is this, time spent can be a huge community builder. Don't write off those seemingly insignificant moments.

3) Community is built through Humor.
Come on. If you can laugh together, you probably have other things that are similar. Humor can be a starting point for so many other conversations that will lead to doing life-on-life with someone. Laugh it up. Have a day! Make some memories! But think of #4...

4) Community is divided through Humor.
The reality is that not everybody is going to laugh at everything. Sure, I have my own perspective on certain things that are humorous. I also think that some things that are funny now, weren't very funny back in high school. Likewise, I don't think some things are funny now that were in high school. Be cautious that your humor isn't divisive. It might be one of the best ways to separate yourself from someone.

What about you? How do you create community with those around you?


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