Ours. | 31 Days

As you’ve seen, we have a lot of things to say about our community. We’re very humbled to be a part of it. I think we could continue to talk about it for a long time – not much gets us this excited. The 31 Days series has been a great reflection for us on all that we have to be thankful for. Our final reason we love our community is that it’s ours.

In coaching high school soccer I am given the opportunity to see players develop from their first season as a freshman to their last game as a senior. Each brings it’s own challenges and successes. Coaches will say if only we had a player who could do this or if only we had that guy from another team but we don’t really mean it. When it comes down to it, when the season ends, the only team a coach wants is theirs. Just like coaches, the only community we want is ours.

It’s our team.

It’s our community.

My real hope for you is that you have your own community to be a proud of and that our blog is just a resource to make your already awesome community even better. If not, you’re invited to join ours but if you do, own it. It’s yours. Be proud of it. Invest in it. Cultivate it. Write about 31 reasons you love of it. 

Day 31 of 31: Why do we love our community? It’s ours.

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You can be better.

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I love my community.

They are talented.

They are funny.

They are motivated.

They are passionate.

They are encouraging.

They are caring.

They are active.

Need I go on?

I hope this month you have seen a glimpse of my community.

I hope this month you have seen a glimpse of a dynamic community.

  • The more I live life with my community…
  • The more I really pay attention to what they are doing in their stories…
  • The more I see the impact they have on people’s lives…
  • The more I write about them…
  • The more I realize how much I want to contribute with them.
  • The more their actions encourage me to be better.

I love my community because they continue to challenge me to be better.

They may not even know it, but everything they do screams (encouragingly):

“We’re called, let’s go!”

“You got this!”

“Join us, let’s learn as we go”

“You can be better!”

Day 30 of 31: I love my community because they continue to challenge me to be better.

Collision. | 31 Days.

This weekend I had the opportunity to visit some friends in the town where I went to college. After graduating they have taken up young professional lives in the town we all used to call home. Over the almost three years since I graduated their community has vastly changed. Going to see them gave me the unique opportunity for my world and community to collide with theirs.

Seeing their excitement for the things happening in their community gave me the opportunity to reflect on the exciting things happening in my own. This collision of communities caught my attention in the simple fact that my community isn’t scared to let our world collide with others. 

Collisions imply discomfort or even pain. They are rarely subtle but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth going through.

You see, community fails when it becomes closed off. It fails when others aren’t allowed in or must conform to the group before acceptance. I love my community because it regularly  collides with those outside of our community and invites them to join us. We’re a community on mission always moving forward and always inviting others to come along side us.

  • Does your community need to accept collisions?
  • What keeps you from opening up your community to those outside of it?

Day 29 of 31: Why do I love my community? My community isn’t scared to collide with others.

One shot. One story.

When we view our life as a story, suddenly everything has significance.

People matter.

Decisions matter.

Events matter.

Everything matters because we only get one life; we only live one story.

I love when I see people taking ownership of their story.

I love when people view their story as important.

Not because it is better than anyone else’s, but because it’s their story.

A quote by Donald Miller from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

“And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can’t go back to being normal; you can’t go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time.”

Rapper Wisdom: Quote by Eminem from one of his many hit songs Lose Yourself.

“You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow This opportunity comes once in a lifetime “

Day 26 of 31: I love my community because they are not afraid to live their story.

Homecoming. | 31 Days.

Ahh, Home
Let me come Home
Home is wherever I’m with you
– 
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Home

Photo credit: fotobydave
This weekend my alma mater will celebrate THE 101st Homecoming. I say “THE” because the University of Missouri invented homecoming. With thousands of other alumni I will travel back to Columbia to spend the weekend reminiscing with friends about our days in college. The best part is no matter how long it’s been or how far everyone has traveled from it’s like we never skipped a beat.

I love my community because home is wherever I’m with it. It doesn’t matter where I go as long as my community is with me. As we’ve gotten older my friends have dispersed to cities around the country but despite the physical separation we are still a community. It’s amazing how relationships that were so intimate years ago can quickly be rekindled when we gather to celebrate. Wherever life takes us we’re always home when we’re together.

Day 25 of 31: I love my community because home is wherever I’m with it.

We’re just getting started.

The amount of growth I have seen in my community over the last year (or so) is incredible.

I have seen friendships grow stronger.

I have seen new people join our community.

I have seen perseverance lead to character.

I have seen people faithfully dig ditches and rejoice as they overflow with rain.

I have seen people carry others when they are weak.

I have seen people let others carry them when they are weak.

I have seen people laugh (a lot).

I have seen people pray (a lot).

I have seen people love other’s (well).

All of this in just 1 year.

1 year of growing community and we are just getting started.

Over the last year I have seen nothing short of a miracle in my community.

How many more miracles will we see in the following year?

2 years?

5 years?

10 years?

After 1 year we are just getting started.

Day 24 of 31: I love my community because we’re just getting started.

Taylor Swift. | 31 Days.

photo

Photo via Tomodo89

I love my community because on Mondays I get to sing Taylor Swift songs. That statement might raise a few questions in your mind.

Which T. Swift song is your favorite? Mean.

Can’t you always sing her songs? Yes, yes I can and I do. I mean really, they’re so catchy.

Why does a 20-something guy sing Taylor Swift songs and why is he not scared to admit it? Well, since you asked, I proudly sing Taylor Swift songs because it lets me share Jesus with some pretty incredible high school kids. You see, high schoolers love Taylor Swift (including the guys they just don’t want to admit it). That’s why when you show up at Young Life on Monday night odds are pretty good you will hear at least one of her songs. They’re catchy, easy to sing a long with and describe so well that angst and emotion we all feel or have felt as a high school kid. Her songs break down walls and open doors. In that moment we get to share real life built on the common bond of the emotion in the song.

I’m not saying we want to share Jesus as an onslaught of emotions but rather we’re creating common ground. We’re sharing an experience. We’re earning the right to be heard. Yes, in a small way, Taylor Swift helps us earn the right to share Jesus. I’m not the only 20-something guy in my community who loves T. Swift for this reason and we’re certainly not the only community that can relate to this.

Day 23 of 31: Why do I love my community? Taylor Swift.