This weekend my husband and I went to a potluck. For the past 6 months Wes has been meeting monthly with a group of youth pastors who all work at churches (from all kinds of denominations) about half an hour from our town. They decided last month that it would be fun to get their families all together to meet each other and share a meal.
To be honest I was kind of dreading it at first. I LOVE being with people but lately I've been so busy with church, work, youth group, marriage etc that all I want to do at the end of the day is be alone. This was a very important time for Wes so I bucked up and went along.
We arrived to meet with about 5 different youth pastors and their families and I couldn't have had a better night. We may all come from different theological backgrounds, different family types, but we were all youth pastors and youth pastors' wives, and there's no one who can understand you more than someone going through the same thing.
Wes and I live in a small town where there aren't many young couples or families and there are even less people who have a similar perspectives and passions. Most of the time we feel very alone. We have a small group at our church that we love, but there is a little something missing.
At first I just stayed next to Wes listening to the guys talk about ministry and theology and life. Then one of the kids came outside and wanted me to play with her (comfort zone!) so we walked upstairs and I found all the kids and their mom's. Now, I'm not a mom (been married just under a year) but with my background working with children and my love for people, it's pretty easy for me to join the group. We started by introducing ourselves but it quickly went to some real issues that resonated with all of us as wives of those in ministry. We talked about, time management, painful ministry hierarchy, marriage, about opening up our home for someone to live in, or humbling yourself to live with someone else...it was just so good to be around a whole group of people that feel the same feelings and think the same things. We clicked.
It's funny...earlier that night one Youth Pastor was talking about how parents in his church were upset that there were "clicks" in the youth group....but you can't force people to be friends. Those "clicks" are a solid group of friends dedicated to each other. You can teach people to love each other and be kind to your enemies...but that doesn't mean they will always connect.
An important part of community is CONNECTION. Common interest. Similar personalities. You can't force people to connect. You can't force community. (But you can have meals together to discover those connections!)
I picked my best friends - the ones I share my heart with. I don't share that with everyone...and that's okay! At the end of the night our group had asked if we wanted to do this more regularly, hosting at differnet homes (and the possibility of starting a small group bible study). YES. YES PLEASE! We need a community of people dedicated to each other. Feeling along side us.
Let's just say...
I can't wait for our next meal together.