The dictionary defines “community” in two general ways. One is simply, “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.” The other is, “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” It’s interesting to note that a person can be part of a community (or many communities), as defined the first way, without ever feeling part of the community as defined the second way.
Which communities are you a part of? Do you feel like you belong? How many people are part of a community with you, but do not feel like they belong? What can you do to enfold them, to provide the fellowship that is such a key component to really experiencing community?
Community is bigger than one person. It’s actually much bigger than what we can see, or the people who come to mind initially when we consider our community. It includes people living and working around us, who we may not see or meet, but whose efforts and presence directly impact our daily lives and well-being. It includes people we haven’t yet met, whose gifts and needs are still relevant to our lives.
Regardless of how you feel about yourself or the people around you, there are others out there who need what you have to offer, and who may be able to meet some of your needs. I encourage you to go through this week really seeing the people around you, and asking yourself what you can do to BE community to them, to fellowship with them, to encourage them, and to learn from them.
While we’re at it, I want to thank YOU for being a part of our Social Incites community. Readers of this article are all around the world, each impacting his or her own communities in unique ways. I am humbled by your willingness to stay connected with me, and thank you for the ways you have taught, encouraged, and enfolded me. I enjoy the fellowship, and hope you do, too!