Building Community – Part Two

Here are the next five community limiters:

6. Be physically present but mentally absent
When talking to someone, pretend to listen by nodding your head and saying “uh huh” while you are really thinking about what show comes on TV later that night. Basically, just don’t engage anyone on any level. After all, you’re just there to put in your “time” and then get on with your life.
7. Don’t share a meal
If you goal is to avoid community, this step is of the utmost importance, don’t ask people to lunch! Sharing a meal is an intimate thing that creates deeper relationships. So, when someone asks you to lunch fake a stomach ulcer or something, just get out of it.
8. Stay very, very busy
The busier you are, especially on a Sunday, the less time you have to “deal” with people. In fact, attempt to be so busy that when speaking to someone you never even stop walking past them as you say hello.
9. Make your default response “everything is great”
People will always ask how you are doing. Make sure that you have your “default” answer ready so that when they ask you are ready to say, “everything is great!” This must be your default response, otherwise you might actually let on that your life is not perfect, or worse, that you are struggling. This colossal mistake could lead to deeper conversation and deeper relationship. If you are going to really avoid community while in church, this is probably your best weapon.
10. Don’t show up
This is definitively your best method of avoiding community overall because there is no community where there are no people.

One thought on “Building Community – Part Two

  1. Marla Saunders

    These are really good points, Jim. It’s always interesting to me how many people can attend a church, make no effort to speak to anyone, ever, and then complain about the process. Now obviously I am not talking about first timers or “seekers,” I’m talking about church members who sit on their backsides expecting the people on stage to somehow miraculously provide them with a new set of friends and relationships.

    Life doesn’t happen that way.

    With a little bit of intentionality we could teach our people how to connect. Your summer groups are an interesting start. It would be great to couple them with some teaching on topics such as hospitality, compassion, meeting people at their point of need etc.

    In the end, community grows organically when there are people committed to that growth.

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