The word community is almost always defined as a noun:
- A group of people living together in one place, esp. one practicing common ownership: “a community of nuns”.
- All the people living in a particular area or place: “local communities”
I like to think of community as more than living close to someone geographically. I have neighbors who I’ve never talked to. I wave to people who live on my street, but I don’t even know their names. We live in the same neighborhood, we don’t live in community.
Let’s think of community as a verb, not a noun. Community is something you do, not a place where you live.
To truly live in community we have to be active in people’s lives and be willing to let others be active in ours. Community members must care enough to invest in people. They also have to be humble enough to learn from others.
I am surrounded by people who are active in other people’s lives. I’m surrounded by teachers, coaches, parents, spouses, Young Life leaders, etc… They are all intentional about how they spend time together and are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure community is a verb, not a noun.
All of these people go the extra mile to actively do community. They sacrifice their time, ask great questions, come around consistently, and invite people into their homes to eat great food. All of these things are actions that enable community.
I am lucky to be a part of a group of people who are actively living in community.
Day 4 of 31: I love my community because they think of community as a verb, not a noun.