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Find True Community

If these last couple of years have been draining for you, one of the contributing factors is likely the isolation you’ve experienced from too many Zoom meetings and not enough real connection. Whether you’re an introvert and love working from home or an extrovert, like me, looking for every opportunity to get together for coffee, we all need community that goes deeper than surface-level or strictly business. We need relationships in which we are known, that remind us we’re not alone and that help us grow.

God exists in community as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all working interdependently together at all times. Since each of us is created in God’s image we are wired to work, grow and do life together with others. So, if you feel like something is missing, it just might be true community with people you can engage in honest, vulnerable, transparent conversation. People you can be real with who will also challenge you to grow.

How do we build relationships like this in such odd times? Well, it’s simple, but not necessarily easy.

The biggest challenge is breaking free of prevalent, self-limiting beliefs. You know the ones: “I don’t have time”; “I’m not sure it’s safe to be vulnerable”; “I don’t want to burden others.”

The best way to break free is to replace those lies with something more powerful – the Truth. Consider some of these verses from Scripture:

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. […] Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12

“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

God knows we need each other. To build the relationships that lead to true community, our commitment to building authentic, mutually supportive relationships needs to be stronger than our desire to remain in our comfort zone, which isn’t all that comfortable at it turns out.

Then take some small steps to invest in building deeper relationships with your coworkers and colleagues. Here are a few suggestions for getting started:

  • Schedule 20 minutes to check in one-on-one with someone.

  • Pick up the phone and call a coworker to let them know what a great job they’re doing.

  • Reach out to a coworker you know is overloaded and ask how you can help.

  • Reach out to someone you look up to and ask their advice on a challenge you’re facing or a goal you’re working on.

These can all be done over Zoom or in person. And you may be surprised how much others appreciate the opportunity to connect.

I’ve been blessed to build deep relationships with amazing women I’ve never met in person simply because we were both open to investing time to get to know each other. A couple of these women have participated in a workplace Bible study with me. One is a powerful prayer partner. Another woman and I are both part of a professional group that meets once a week. I love that she will pick up the phone randomly to chat. We may have to play a bit of phone tag, but we enjoy a great conversation every time. These relationships are life-giving for me. We laugh, we cry, we wrestle through challenges together―we share God’s love with one another.

Relationships like this don’t happen overnight. It takes time and intentionality, but by investing in true community you will discover a whole new level of encouragement, support, accountability and inspiration that helps you persevere through challenges, boost your impact, and accelerate your growth together.

Photo by Surface on Unsplash

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