Community is Awkward

Today I’d like to start a conversation on “community.” I say “start” because I know this is a tough subject and no one is going to be changing their stance or current circumstances after one blog post.

Recently I was participating in a particular event with church people. We were being asked to do some touchy-feely stuff, the kind of group activity that makes many stay away from church people. Just saying.

I don’t really remember the point of the exercise (I know, I’m a bad Christian), but towards the end we found ourselves locking arms with the people next to us. Lucky for me, on one side was my wife and on the other side was a close friend.

The volunteer on stage was then asked, “How does this make you feel?” He quickly and sarcastically replied, “Awkward,” to which the speaker mentioned that “community is awkward.”

Quickly I wrote down something I believe to be true about community. I’m not sure if the speaker said it or if I was connecting dots, but I think it was the latter. This was not the main point of the exercise, so he continued and then we went on our way, happy to not be touching one another any longer. Here is what I wrote down.

“Community feels awkward because we aren’t use to it.”

Think about it. We are starved for community, and yet we run from opportunities for community. We long for it, but we keep our guards up. It attracts us and it scares us.

Community has become awkward. So we avoid it. We sabotage it. We flee from it.

I’d like to suggest a change. What if instead of moving away from community, we began to step towards it. Imagine how that could change your life, the life of those you love, the lives of those for which you want to make a difference. Perhaps it could make a difference for someone who is lonely, depressed, distracted, overwhelmed, afraid, or hurting.

Community is awkward. Embrace it. Run to it. Dare to do community. 

Do you believe community is awkward? How so? Why do we run from community? Please share in the comments section or on social media. Thanks!

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