It seems so easy to build a community when all you have to do is type a few ideas on a blog post and encourage OTHER people to go out and conquer! Go forth, brave blogger, and build community with Nutella and a prayer.
But what if said blogger (ahem) happens to be an introvert, live in a super small town, isn't really connected with a church, doesn't know of many other bloggers in the tri-state area, and has a small child? How realistic is it to actually find time to go do all this community building, and to do it where I am?
I'm not really sure, to be honest. It's a challenge. But it's not impossible.
In the book of Esther we read that God placed Esther in the position of queen for "such a time as this" (Esther 4:14) and I firmly believe that God knew that we would be here, in our space, with our circumstances, for such a time as this. So how can we use our season to create community? As a new mom, I'm no longer able to stay out with girlfriends until 11 p.m. just talking (uh...I fall asleep at 9), I can't just hop in the car and go wherever/whenever, so I thought I'd give you a snapshot of my day and few ideas I had for how I could create community, and maybe it would inspire you. Or bore you to tears. My days aren't that exciting....you've been warned!
5 a.m. Wake up, go to the gym, do Bible study, get ready for work - trust me, mama is not starting a community at the gym at 5 a.m. BUT I do participate in Hello Mornings, which encourages me to get my tookus out of bed, stay healthy, and dig into the Word before my kiddo & hubs are awake. It has changed my attitude completely.
7:30 a.m. Take Madi to daycare - I'm friends with Madi's two main daycare teachers on Facebook, so I could leave them encouraging messages, take them coffee on those super early mornings, gifts on their birthdays, write them "thank you" notes from Madi, and stop and chat with the other moms. Who knows, that mom might know of the perfect Bible study you could join!
8:00 a.m. Start the work day. I could try to do a before work Bible study with some ladies, or a book club. Or just meet occasionally with some other young professionals for coffee.
5:00 p.m. Head home - evenings are family time, so this chunk of my day is reserved for Matt & Madi :)
8:00 p.m. Madi is in bed, and I have a few hours to blog/write/etc. I could participate in a Twitter party, invite a friend over to watch Dancing with the Stars (or Bunheads. Downton Abbey. eat chocolate. whatever). I could link up to some other blogs, like Five Minute Friday, or write a guest post for (in)courage, Allume, or any of my other favorite blogs.
There are so many ways to start a community, and so many people who would love to be invited to be part of one! And with social media, there is literally nothing stopping you from connecting around the world to others who share your passions. Just make sure you know which time zone they're in before you start a Google Hangout...(um...yeah...).
So, what can you do to start a community where you are, in your season?