How We’re Learning
by Kori Yates
Being an introvert by nature, sometimes this military life can be challenging. I move to a new duty station regularly and then have to once again build community there – which means I have to engage with people. Truth be told, many times I have no desire to engage with people.
I’d be more than happy to hang out in my little bubble and survive until we move again. But God has taught me (more than once) that He made us all for community and community is good. I need you, and amazingly enough, you need me too. We teach each other, challenge each other, encourage each other. God has put many women in my path who have taken part in molding me to be more like Jesus. For that, I am forever grateful.
So even on days when I don’t want to engage, I am reminded of those who have poured into me in the past, those amazing people God has made to cross my path. My life will never be the same because I encountered them. In the remembering, I step out again to see what God has in this place and I am thankful every time.
We need each other.
How to Build Community:
1. Pray – lots. He has godly women with whom He desires our paths to cross. Ask Him to show you.
2. Go looking – Walk with expectation into new territory. God has intentionally put you here. Look for those He would have you encounter.
3. Rest – In our community we have both friends for a season and friends for life. It’s totally ok to have both. We are not expected to maintain every single friendship at the same level of engagement our entire lives.
4. Be thankful – Remember those friends and acquaintances God has given in the past. In the remembering and the gratefulness, we find greater courage in going forward.
5. Your gift – In building community, remember that you are a gift to them as well. God has designed for you to be part of their story just as much as He has made them to be part of yours.
Keep a lookout today for those God has intentionally brought in your path and be brave. Step into those relationships with courage. Invest, even when you’re not so sure you want to.
Below are some verses about the importance of community. But if you read through the first few chapters of Acts, you will also see how community made a definitive difference in the first church. It’s cool to see how God used the “community” to grow them as individuals but also to further the Gospel.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25).
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others (Romans 12:4-5).
Lord, show me those you have intentionally put in my path. Help me to be brave again to allow them into my world and boldly step into theirs.
The Jesus-Hearted Woman – a leadership book that also gives great insight into relationships and the importance of community.
Multiply – a discipleship book from Francis Chan. This is a great way to intentionally pour into those around you (and even let them pour into you).