We’re talking this week about community – specifically Christian community – and how this is a key to a better change. Yesterday, we talked about what it means to be a Christian community. Maybe you’re looking around at your groups of friends and thinking they don’t quite have all the characteristics of this kind of community.
Below are 20 simple ideas you can do TODAY to enhance an existing community to bring in more elements of Christian community.
Start a Bible Study
- Add a short devotional and scripture to your weekly coffee date.
- Do a Bible study as playdate and involve the kids.
- Invite your co-workers to do a Bible study over lunch. Maybe just discuss a weekly scripture verse to keep it short enough for a lunch break.
- Start a book club with your neighbors; choose a commentary or Christian memoir and discuss a chapter each week. While this may not sound like a Bible study, it may be more approachable as a start and you’ll certainly discuss scripture or faith journeys as part of the book. Over time, you may transition to books more focused on Bible study.
Pray For and With Each Other
- As needs arise, simply ask if you can pray for or with that friend. Begin introducing prayer in small ways and it will open the door to more.
- Start an email thread with your group for prayer requests. Any time someone in the group needs prayer, they can just reply all and ask.
- Add a time of prayer to one of your get-togethers each week. Pray at the start of a meal or as you sit down to coffee. Pray as you walk or exercise together.
- Sign up for a service project together. Do a day on Habitat for Humanity build together. Help sort clothes or stock shelves at a local food pantry.
- Organize care for someone you know – maybe someone who’s sick, going through chemo, having surgery, having a baby, or grieving. Take care of meals, childcare, care packages, etc.
- Start a babysitting swap in your neighborhood. Help a mom who may need a break or date night.
Build Deeper Relationships
The deeper the roots, the stronger the community. How well do you know the people in your community?
- Spend time one on one and ask questions about what’s really going on in each other’s lives.
- Listen. Truly listen to each other.
- Invite someone new into your group, maybe a neighbor or parent you’ve met at school.
- Invite your friends to church if they don’t already have a church home.
- Attend a mid-week service together. Maybe rotate through each of the churches in your group.
- Attend a retreat or conference together.
If you don’t have a strong community right now or don’t think your community could become a strong Christian community, seek out a new community. This doesn’t mean you have to leave your old ones, but add this element of Christian community to your life.
- Join a church, if not already attending regularly.
- Look around your church for ways to get involved in a small group.
While in person community is best, we can also have community online.
- Get to know others in an online Bible study, go deeper with online friends and really get to know each other.
- If anyone from your virtual community lives nearby, ask them to meet for coffee and begin to make those in person connections.
I hope this list encourages you to seek out more of this Christian community. It’s a critical component we need in our lives to help us through change and trial. In tomorrow’s post we’ll discuss more about why Christian community is so important and how it helps us better navigate life’s changes.
[reminder preface=”Question:”]What are some other ways you can enhance your community and bring in more characteristics of Christian community?[/reminder]
[callout]This post is part of the “A Better Change” series. For more information on this series and to find related posts, click here: A Better Change Series – Overview[/callout]
Sharing with: Cornerstone Confessions, UNITE, Testimony Tuesday, Saturday Soiree
Holly Barrett says
Great ideas, Kathryn! I especially love the one to serve together! Thanks for linking up to Testimony Tuesday.
Hi Kathryn, these are some great ideas. I especially like the idea of attending each other’s churches mid-week. That’s a great way to get to know each other in a different way and broaden our horizons at the same time. Visiting you from Testimony Tuesday today!
I thought that would be a fun one. Had a friend come to our mid-week service because her daughter attends our preschool – and thought it would be fun to visit others and get some different perspectives.
Wonderful ways to build community! “Truly listen to each other.” Amazing how something so simple is so hard for us. May I not be looking for the opportunity to jump into a conversation but truly take the time to listen! Great post!
That’s one of my favorites, too. Yet one I find lacking in so many places. People so often love to hear themselves talk, but don’t take the time to sit and really listen to what’s going on with someone else. (I’m guilty, too, but try to make a habit of it)
I think it’s important to open up and be real with your community about where you’re struggling. It’s hard to be a deep community if you’re holding everyone away at arm’s length. It also gives others the freedom to open up in return, helping the community as a whole to go deeper.
Yes – authenticity has to be a key characteristic, too. Deep, helpful relationships can’t exist until we share our true selves.