Community is powerful. It allows you to feel like you are part of a family, something singles desperately want and need. But even more importantly, it shows the world the love of Jesus.
Here are some steps to take toward community living…
Step 1: Ask yourself if your "independent" life is worth it.
This is the world most Americans have created to keep ourselves as comfortable as possible:
- We wake up and turn on the radio so we don’t have to think.
- We eat our cereal alone so we don’t have to cook.
- We drive to our jobs so we don’t have to interact.
- We participate in social networking so we don’t have to communicate anything deep.
And in these days that blur into months that blur into lifetimes, we are incredibly comfortable. But we are also incredibly unhappy and lonely.
Ask yourself: Are my independence and comfort worth living a life without community?
Step 2: Look for a healthy place to be in community.
If the answer to step one is no, it's time to start looking for community. In my own search, I have ended up living on two big farms that were communities, and other organizations that are built around missional community. These were situations in which I actually lived in the same house or on the same farm with other people who have committed to live life, eat meals, and worship together.
If that is a little too much for you, look for churches where there are very strong cell groups put in place. If you go to a big church but never go to a small group, you run the risk of thinking you have authentic community when all you really have is a place where you go to listen to a sermon and have surface conversations about how cute your new shoes are. God's desire for family runs much deeper than that.
Step 3: Figure out ways for you and your friends to foster community, especially if there is nothing yet in place where you live.
Start a book study (like the one outlined at the end of Cupid Is a Procrastinator) that will bond you with a group of people. Start a small group with your church, either incorporating other singles or a mix of people of different family backgrounds and age groups. In those groups, go beyond rote studies and ask good questions about one another’s lives and dreams and frustrations. Create a space where people can be vulnerable.
Other ideas that go beyond church include starting a community garden so you can meet your neighbors. Or you can start a weekly potluck, even one with no Bible study attached to it, where you can invite friends and people who don't yet know Jesus so you can build good relationships with them.
It’s not good for us to be alone. God himself said that.
It is good for us to be in a family, even if we have to build our own.
Don’t miss Part 1 of this blog series, with more advice for Christian singles on creating a family.
Kate Hurley is a worship leader, singer-songwriter, and teacher based out of Boulder, Colorado. She writes the popular blog The Sexy Celibate and has a passion to care for the poor through her art and her friendship. The mission statement for her life is "to paint an accurate picture of a passionate God." Visit her at www.katehurley.com.