Community: what about when it’s just not there?
A Kindred Story by Kaleigh Hamilton-Bishop
If you have been hanging around The Kindred for a little bit, you’ve probably picked up on our passion for building community. It’s what The Kindred is all about! We truly believe that community is how stories are shared, how faith is strengthened, and how the Kingdom grows. We were made to be in community; it’s in the very fabric of our souls.
But as simple as that concept is, it’s not always that simple to bring to fruition. Our world is complex, a never ending rush to do and go. Finding time to build quality relationships with others, much less find people that you connect with, can be an extremely daunting task. When it works? It’s an amazing feeling. But what about when it doesn’t?
I myself have experienced that feeling many times. You try to open up and be vulnerable, maybe share a piece of your heart, and it just falls flat. For whatever reason, you don’t click and they don’t get it. Or maybe you want to bring people together. You reach out, you invite people to come together, and…no one comes. Maybe you’re looking around, wanting to reach out, but you just can’t seem to find anyone. You feel alone and lonely.
Here are 3 tips to remember when community just isn’t happening:
1. Don’t take it personal
This can be really difficult to achieve, but try not to take people’s lack of interest personally. We all go through different seasons in our lives and sometimes the idea of adding one more “thing” to our plates is just too overwhelming to contemplate. You never know what someone is dealing with in their own life that may keep them from wanting to get on board with building community. It’s also really good to remember that we’re not talking about finding your next BFF. This isn’t about building you up; it’s about building Christ’s kingdom! So if someone doesn’t get it or isn’t interested? It’s ok. It’s not about you.
In our fast pace, microwave-mentality society, patience seems like a thing of the past. Have you heard the phrase, “this is a marathon, not a sprint?” Building a community, a place where people feel safe, is not an overnight achievement. It takes time and repetition and lots and lots of patience. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t hit it out of the park the first time you try. Vulnerability takes courage but it will be worth it!
3. Try, Try again
Like I said before, it’s a marathon. You are setting a foundation, moment by moment. If you believe in community, in building those safe places for people to question and learn and grow in their faith, then you know that it won’t happen overnight and it won’t happen all at once. So keep trying. Keep reaching out. Keep creating those moments. You have no idea what seeds you are planting in someone’s life, and when or where your obedience will come to fruition. Don’t give up!