I’ve been thinking a lot about community lately because I’ve been asked several times recently why Tapestry is named Tapestry. Since, I have mentioned it I should probably explain here why Tapestry is named Tapestry.
- A tapestry is woven together. To separate it is to destroy it – kind of like what I hope (and believe) the community of Tapestry is like.
- A tapestry is beautiful when seen from above but a mess of tangles when seen from below – kind of like what I hope (and believe) the community of Tapestry is like.
- Karl Barth described the imago dei as coming from the fact that humanity is male and female (i.e. we are the image of GOD in community and to separate us is to deny that image). As a tapestry we best display GOD’s image together – kind of like what I hope (and believe) the community of Tapestry is like.
So, community is why Tapestry is called Tapestry.
Then while thinking about community I was talked with Adam (my favorite eldest son) about something he liked that his pastor in Eau Claire said. Both Adam and Noah (my favorite youngest son) go to a church named ekklesia in Eau Claire. His pastor was talking about community and offered the following practical suggestion “come to ekklesia early and stay late”. Very practical advice for developing strong relationships with the people in your church. i like practical advice.
So I thought I would throw out a few of my own thoughts on practical ways to develop strong community around you.
- This month have someone over to your abode for a meal, dessert, and/or coffee.
- This month go to someone’s abode (it is important to let other people host you as you host them).
- When you hear a conversation around you that you find interesting jump into it (Just make sure you aren’t taking the conversation over – jump into it as a participant not a dominator). Most importantly ask a lot of questions and show a great deal of interest.
- Begin to ask people about the things that they are excited about right now and share what you are excited about (personally I like to ask people what is floating their boats at the moment).
- Find out something that is going on in the lives of your neighbors and begin to pray for them regularly.
- Ask a few people to craft with you.
Ask a few people to play your favorite video game and discuss why it is your favorite video game (mine is Bioshock and I love it because it confronts the messed up thought of Ayn Rand while also allowing me to shoot creatures).
- Ask someone you don’t know as well in the church to go to Emy J’s, Zest, or the Mission and play a board game together.
- Show up for your church and stay late (if it is good then why reinvent it?)
If you have some wonderful practical suggestions please share them. i would love to hear them. Also I believe the most important thing is just that you do something purposeful. Just do something. I feel that often it doesn’t matter so much what we do but that we do something. Developing community is like that. Regularly makes yourself vulnerable and do something with people and community will often just develop on its own.