*It's Day 13 of the 31 Day Writing Challenge, which is why I'm still talking about intentional community. (-; If you're interested in reading previous posts and maybe even following along for the rest of the series, check that out here: 31 Days of Intentional Community *
At our little stay-at-home moms' Bible study group the other morning, my friend mentioned that she hated the word intentionality. Like hated it. I think her strong feelings towards that word might have something to do with how frequently it comes up in the land of Christians who love to speak Christianese. Similar to the words authentic, vulnerable, and possibly community (yep).
We Christians love to use words until they almost don't mean anything anymore. I'm sure every sub-culture does this, but we have a gift for it. There are websites dedicated to our idiosyncratic ways of communicating.
All this to say, the word intentionality might make your brain turn off when you read it because you may have heard it a thousand times. But being intentional is a huge part of creating community, so in order to keep you (and me) from going into a word coma when you hear it, here's a list of synonyms to round this word out:
Now add the word community to that list. And then take a minute to think about what that kind of community might look like. (i.e. purposeful community, conscious community, etc.)
On rare occasions, community happens effortlessly and it's possible that in different seasons of life we might find ourselves a part of a fellowship before we even have a chance to think about how to make that happen. But, in my experience, it usually takes real effort. Oh, and intentionality. Did I mention that? Making community happen involves what you might expect: prayer, planning, inviting, engaging, etc. Intention.
Matt and I love having people over to our house, but for the last two years we were either expecting a baby, having one, or living in the vortex of a baby year. Now that the babe is one, we're coming out of our cocoon and remembering how to use our home to help create community. We're trying to be purposeful in our desire to engage others in real, heart-deep fellowship.
Somewhat similarly to wanting to be married, the desire for community requires doing more than just sitting at home hoping the UPS man shows up and happens to want to hang out. That would obviously be all kinds of weird, but I think we can sometimes neglect to act because we're "waiting on the Lord" to make things happen. He definitely can drop a husband onto your doorstep or provide community in a completely supernatural way, but I don't know that it's going to work like that for most of us.
Acts 2 shows God's people committing themselves to the fellowship, sharing their food and possessions, attending church together, inviting each other into their homes and in the midst of all that, God was "adding to their number day by day."
Let's follow their example and be purposeful and deliberate as we invite people into our lives. If your intention is to experience community the way God designed you to, don't wait for it to just happen.
Take the first step toward someone else and invite them in.
Be brave enough to be intentional.