Being a community is hard; more so when apart

Being a community is hard; more so when apart

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Usually, church fills our need for community in lots of ways. We have a regular pattern of meeting our friends, welcoming new people, and serving one another. This crisis has removed many of the natural ways we experience community. We have not had Sunday morning gatherings where many use their gifts to serve one another and naturally greet one another.

So how have you been doing with maintaining community in this time of absence? It is harder to connect with people. Well, not harder really, but it requires more intentional effort. Instead of waiting to talk to someone on Sunday, we need to pick up the phone or send an email.

Let’s be honest. Have you done that? Have you actively pursued conversations with people at church who are not your close friends that you would meet up with anyway? It is so much easier to hang back and stick with your family and your friends; the wider church community fades too easily into the background.

The relaxing restrictions in Western Australia meet we can meet together as a church family on Sundays now, and physical Bible study groups have been running for a few weeks. Make the most of these opportunities. Talk to people. Different people. People who are not your friends but who are your family because they trust in Jesus.

And take time to reflect on what it means to be part of a community. If the absence of Sunday gatherings meant you have lost touch with many people, how connected were you in the first place? If using your gifts to serve the church is only something you do on Sundays, is that enough?

Our church family is a real gift from God. Maybe this crisis will force us to be more thankful for this community we are part of. Maybe it will make us appreciate the opportunities Sunday morning gives us for service and for welcome. Look for opportunities to connect with people outside Sundays on a regular basis; even a text message to say you’ve been praying for them could be worth more than you imagine.