Have your eyes been opened to the importance of community this month? It’s inspiring and humbling to know that we have been given the incredible gift of a support system as part of God’s design for His children’s lives. Inspiring because we know we are meant to walk this life in community with others, and humbling because of the potentially powerful role we are meant to play in that community to nurture it.
“Community” is a notion that applies to literally every area of our lives. We can have a work community, a social community, and a spiritual community, and sometimes those communities may blend. Dina Dwyer-Owens started our community conversation this month on the podcast, where she talked about how the health of your work community greatly depends on the importance your group places on values. She also offered a helpful guide to figuring out your culture. (Linked here)
Joi Freeman shared from her heart about what community has meant to her and what she believes are “must-haves” for any successful and thriving community. She also discussed the importance of making sure you don’t keep your work and church friends segregated, but rather, view that as an opportunity to create a community built around ministering to all.
In honor of Giving Week, our founder, Diane Paddison, paid homage to the invaluable role community has played in 4word’s legacy. She also challenged all of us to identify what it is that God has given us to give…and then give it! God has equipped each of us with unique talents and abilities, and those skills are all potential pieces of a truly thriving community.
We rounded out our conversation this month by offering some practical tips for influencing your community, at work, home, and church. Wanting to be a positive influence is the big first step, but finding ways to live that out can be stressful and overwhelming. The response we’ve gotten from all of you about our tips has been so encouraging! Let us know if there are any you would add to the lists!
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”Matthew 5:16
Your role in any community is simple but powerful: be a light for your Creator. Even your church community can benefit from a constant reminder from you about why we are all placed on this earth. As you go out into your community, wherever it may be, ask God to work through you for His kingdom. You will find your steps supernaturally ordained and your heart full of joy as you allow God to use you as his instrument for creating a truly influential community.