Community Building & Fellowship
Over the past ten years I have reflected pretty extensively on my childhood. I have reviewed many of my childhood experiences and the stages of growth I have gone through to date. It was really a fun process as many stories came back that I hadn’t thought about for upwards of three decades. As I reflect over my childhood the main theme is safety. I was blessed to have a safe childhood largely due to my wonderful parents.
Beyond the safety of my childhood I was lonely due to growing up in a very rural area on a small acreage six miles from the small town where I went to school. I am a moderate extrovert and thus I really crave interaction with others on a consistent basis, but my childhood often did not lead to regular interactions with friends.
This low level of loneliness throughout my childhood drove and drives my passion towards community building. At Bryn Mawr there is some beautiful community as if you visit us on a Sunday or Saturday for worship I am convinced you will feel welcome and loved.
If you return on a regular basis and get to know us and we you, I am convinced you will feel even greater hospitality and feel even more a part of our church, but as the pastor I long for even more.
The early Christians shared life together in nearly every way. They shared possessions, homes, and much of their daily lives together. While I don’t think this is immediately feasible for us at Bryn Mawr, knowing this does allow us to push back and tear down the high fences we keep around our lives which separate us from each other.
I don’t think loneliness is an uncommon feeling many people have whether they are young or old and it is something which the Bryn Mawr and the broader Church can help to alleviate through the formation of vital and life changing communities.
At Bryn Mawr we are forming small groups starting with one or two this year and building upon that in years to come. I am starting with the young adults connected to Bryn Mawr and their families, but there is no age limit in this. How beautiful would it be for each group to adopt one or more of the oldest members of the congregation or even some who aren’t connected to Bryn Mawr?!
The potential is nearly endless, but for now it’s just the beginning of a beginning. I pray that there will be much, much more community building and the transforming of lives to come.
Follow this link for a great article on building community in church: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/its-time-reclaim-idea-fellowship