One top definition of ‘COMMUNITY’ online is this:
– a unified body of individuals with common interests living in a particular area.
But I have a question. How can these individuals KNOW if they have common interests if they don’t actually KNOW each other? Furthermore, If we don’t KNOW each other we can’t really be UNIFIED, can we?
I love this quote about community by Erwin McManus:
“The more isolated and disconnected we are, the more shattered and distorted our self-identity. We are not healthy when we are alone. We find ourselves when we connect to others. Without community we don’t know who we are…
When we live outside of healthy community, we not only lose others. We lose ourselves…Who we understand ourselves to be is dramatically affected for better or worse by those we hold closest to us.”
I believe this to be true in my own life. And this is a huge part of what our Missional Community is trying to model here in the Yakima Valley. We can and should get to know our neighbors next door (this was a thing once upon a time). Offering random acts of KINDNESS to complete strangers can be an amazing experience, for them and US. It doesn’t have to be awkward or impersonal.
CHALLENGE: Introduce yourself to a neighbor near where you live. Take them cookies or brownies. Explain that you simply want to know who your neighbors are. Then, watch their reactions! We live in a cul-de-sac and have done this with about half of our neighbors so far. ALL of them have been welcoming to us and almost refreshed by the interaction. Two of them actually asked my wife and I into their home for a few minutes!
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