Weekend Thoughts: Community


When my son started preschool last fall, I told him he’d have a chance to make some new friends.  His response?  “I don’t need new friends.  I have enough friends already.”  I then proceeded to explain that sometimes maybe they need us.  It took a little while, but he warmed up and made some new friends at preschool.

Hmmm… ever notice how sometimes you see something about yourself reflected in your child?

How often to I close myself off?  How often do I neglect to “put myself out there” and make new friends because I feel like I don’t need them?  I am not naturally outgoing.  Truth be told, I am more of an introvert.  And I stink at small talk.  So, really making new friends is not exactly my thing either. 

This fall, our family enrolled at a home school tutorial.  I remember sitting at the orientation, where I knew not a soul, and feeling very much like my son did last fall.  He adapted more easily than I did this year and made friends quite quickly.  He was begging me to invite his friends over and I had yet to really introduce myself to any of the other moms.

But, then we had our monthly parent meetings and I found myself sitting next to other kindergarten moms, several who had younger daughters as well.  As our girls bonded over baby dolls under the pews, we engaged in small talk.  A few months later, I was assigned my first big volunteer responsibility to cochair the Harvest Party for the tutorial.  Turns out my partner was also new to the tutorial and her daughter sits next to my son in class.  They were already good friends, having bonded over Star Wars at recess.  Within one phone call, I felt a connection with her.  We set up a play date to work on the specifics of the party.  While our kids played together we sat and talked about relay games, food lists, and our husbands and kids.  The next day we met for lunch at Chick-Fil-A.

A connection was made and a friendship born. 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about community.  How do you develop a sense of community in your school, church, or other group?

I really think, you do it by creating opportunities for people to work along side each other.   Working together on a project, big or small, gives you a common ground and experience from which to build a relationship.  Whether it be serving on a Vacation Bible School committee, setting tables up for a brunch, or working side by side on the PTA, I really think a sense of community is developed  when people feel like they have something to contribute to the group and when they have the opportunity to work alongside other people for a common goal.  Also, by working together, you instantly have a common ground, it helps fill that gap that just sitting around making small talk can leave.  I am not suggesting you’re going to instantly become best friends with someone just because you work together on a project.  But, I do think you can make a connection with someone.  And as those connections are made and conversations started, friendships will grow.  Besides building a community isn’t the necessarily about building an instant group of best friends.  It’s about building a sense of belonging, making people feel welcome and needed, and a part of the team.   I am sure there are other ways to build a community, but I do think that a community built on serving together, is one that I’d like to be a part of.   What do you think?  Any thoughts on how one can build a sense of community within their group?

Weekend Thought ButtonWhat are you thinking about this week? Why not use your last post of the week to highlight something a bit "deeper" then the average “Momblog” fair?  I’d love to read your thoughts.  Please feel free to write and link up a  “thoughtful” post below.  You can write a new post or link up one you wrote earlier in the week.  Please include a link back to here in your post.


  1. I'm sure it's easy for you to think that you may not need new friends - I think it's wonderful that you live near so many of your lifelong pals!!

    But good for you for putting yourself out there anyway! I know you don't feel like an outgoing person, but you are - you're so friendly! New friends are blessed to have you! :)

  2. I think the idea of creating projects for people to work on together is a great way to begin to create community. The situation may be a little less intimidating for some. You don't have to create small talk, there is already a built in topic!

    I've tried to create community in a group I am in by just opening my home up to people. I think by creating more opportunities for people to just come together it creates more opportunities to learn more about one another and bond.

    It is hard to take that leap though. It definitely has to be intentional to seek community. And you are right, it isn't all about yourself, it is about what it means to others as well.

  3. i'm kinda with you on that thought of not needing new friends. i am too busy to be the best i can be for my current friends. but at the same time, i know i'm called by Jesus to love my neighbor whether i think i have time for them or not.

  4. I'm glad to be the benneficiary of you opening your heart to new friends! I can't imagine life without you my dear friend! Love you tons!

  5. Just reading this got me all teary eyed wishing we lived in the same community. I'm not sure if I have any "ideas" on how to build community, but I do think that your friendship has richly blessed the lives of many in many ways...including mine!

    Love you dear!

  6. If you have time & energy you should read just about anything by Wendell Berry. He's incredibly insightful on "community". A great short story to start with is "Fidelity". He's been called "the Aristolean Kentuckian"; you could say he's also an agrarian.

  7. I needed this nudge to get out and build community. My tendency is similar to yours. I'd rather stay with the familiar than go through the introductions and small talk stage. It's something I definitely need to work on!


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