Our vision is to inspire, empower, educate one another through ongoing community exchange. One of the ways we’re doing this is through our Friday Community column, in a monthly series called In Your Words. We reach out to our contributors and guest writers to ask them a question once a month.
Read what our contributors have to say and share your answer in the comments below.
What are some practical ways you cultivate community (bible studies, play groups, town message boards) and how has that worked out?
For 15+ years, a friend and I led a neighborhood women's Bible study. The friendships born in those years are still bearing fruit today. Our kids have grown and are off on their own, but we still keep in touch, encouraging one another.
Kristin Hill Taylor
I believe in community. My friends are like family and we cultivate those relationships by spending time around tables with each other. We eat lunch together after church. We meet during the week for lunch while our kids play. We play board games in one room while our kids play together in the next room. We've studied the Bible together. We have ongoing texting conversations. All of this adds up to something wonderful and something that continues to spur me on to the One who made it all possible.
Elise Daly Parker
I am a community girl. I grew up in a family of five with three sisters who are my best friends. So I lived and loved in a little community all my life. I enjoy community through a number of groups and Bible studies at a few different churches. I am also a MOPs Mentor Mom. My husband and I are taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University with another group and we’re attending a local marriage study. I have a precious group of friends who have been meeting for about 15 years through a Friday Faith Group. And I have been a member of Moms In Prayer for 23 years. These women I pray with are a treasured group. I have been astoundingly blessed by community!
This has been hard for me. I am living in a new community and I have struggled to make friends. I am an introvert and meeting new people isn't something that comes easily to me. But I have a heart for community and want to develop these relationships in my life. A few of us are looking at starting a women's ministry at our church. A place where all are invited to gather for some fun and fellowship. Our first event will be May 1st with a showing of Mom's Night Out at the church. I am excited to see where God is going to move in this ministry!
My husband and I are actually in a period of discerning how to better cultivate community, having recently returned from Belize. In the past, we have lived intentionally in community with others, which started with a weekly prayer group. We are thinking about either joining a Bible study or spiritual growth group - or maybe we will start one!
Lately, I have just been "showing up." If my kids have a game or school event, I go early. That gives me a chance to meet someone new or talk with someone that I don't get the chance to normally. I used to wait for people to talk to me. I did this for years...and it never worked. Now, I find a reason to strike up a conversation with someone I don't know, especially if it looks like they don't know anyone.