Cultivate= to foster the growth of; to improve by labor, care, or study.
Relationships, friendships, and community are on my mind and on my heart lately. I am blessed by some amazing relationships. They are true gifts! I am also in transition in some relationships and it's hard. At the same time God is growing a couple new friendships which is exciting. Relationships and friendships are vital! I long for deep, meaningful relationships. I think we all do! It's how God created us!
"Meaningful and lasting relationships are formed when we reveal ourselves to others and others reveal themselves to us"
I first learned this almost 20 years ago in my training program to be a youth pastor. I have experienced this statement to be true! I have shared it and taught it to hundreds of students. I have practiced it-- sometimes well, sometimes not.
Building friendships can be difficult! Even as an adult they can be hard to navigate. I will be 40 years old this year and I still feel like a junior high girl when I attend an event for one of my daughters and I see another mom or a group of moms. In going over to say hi, it's like I am really saying, "Hi, will you be my friend?" Right??!!
Friendships, relationships, and community are vital to our "full and abundant life" with Jesus!
We were created out of and for community. Our God, our Creator, is 3-in-1. Community.
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47
"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Jesus in Matthew 18:20
Community like this doesn't happen by itself. We must cultivate a faith community.
"Christ distributes courage through community; he dissipates doubts through fellowship. He never deposits all knowledge in one person but distributes pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to many. When you interlock your understanding with mine, and we share our discoveries, when we mix, mingle, confess and pray, Christ speaks." ~ Max Lucado
Yes! Relationships and community are vital. And we know that they do not usually appear on their own. It's takes works. It takes cultivating. How do we do this? Look back at the opening quote. We cultivate community by spending time with others. Sharing ourselves and listening to them. One way is to say "yes" to an invitation from a friend. Over this holiday weekend we were invited by family friends for an afternoon of hanging out. We were honestly a little tired and not sure we were up for it. We said "yes" and I am so glad we did! We shared a meal and great conversation. We shared a rain storm, gorgeous clouds, and many laughs. We cultivated our community.
- Say "yes" to the invitation.
- Ask that mom and her toddler over for a play-date.
- Call someone you admire and invite them to a cup of coffee.
- What else can you do?
- What will you gain in doing one of these things?