We live in a time when being connected has never been easier, and yet the experience of close friendship, trust and desire to be understood is elusive for many. Most people have had the experience of feeling alone in the middle of a crowd. Jerry Bridges points out in his book, True Community, that real community requires both relationship & partnership. We hunger for connections that both provide personal care and friendship (relationship) and share a common purpose (partnership). At Young Business Leaders, we believe that purpose is a knowledge of God and obedience to the work He has given us to do.
So how do we find community? Here are a few thoughts:
- Think About What You Really Want
This might seem so easy as not to be worth saying. It is harder than it seems. We need to consciously take time to consider what is important to us. God made us relational beings, and we were made to know others. Do you want to matter to others and to let them matter to you? Then you will need to make choices to pursue those relationships over the myriad of distractions that are constantly chattering for attention.
- Intentionally Pursue Relationships
Sometimes it seems strange to think we might have to work at friendship. After all, isn’t friendship supposed to just happen? That is the way it was when we were little. At least it seemed that way. As children, for many of us, our parents arranged for us to engage with others—through school, programs and activities. As an adult, we must take responsibility for our own lives. No one will make us have friendships—we must value them and then take steps to build them. That may mean seeking out places where we are likely to find those who have significant values in common, like church or other organizations.
- Be a Friend
Being a good friend is a prerequisite to having friends. In Matthew 6:21 Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This is a basic principle of investment. We will come to care about the things into which we pour our time and energy and attention. As you make time to meet with others, as you pray for and think about them, you will find your heart will grow closer because of the investment. Don’t waste time doing things alone that can be done with others. Collaborate at work. Be interested in others. Do service projects or help others together. Shared experiences build friendship.
The reason we desire friendship is because we were made for relationship and community! Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and life abundantly” (John 10:10), and “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).
If you would like help getting more connected in a professional setting, either to a mentor or to a small group of peers, consider reaching out to YBL. We would love to help you build community in your life!