Most people have a natural desire to connect with others. Connection may happen as colleagues or as casual friends. Community can also can happen on a deeper, more romantic level. Regardless, most people have a desire for community.
Community can take on any number of forms and may often bring several different concepts to mind. The fact remains that community is powerful and can be very desirable.
Let’s be real, adding relationships to your life can equal problems. But, I believe that the positive aspects of community can outweigh the negatives. If you disagree, I hope by the end of this series, you will be encouraged to value the benefits that community can bring. So, let’s do this and jump right in!
Perhaps the best way to begin our discussion (you are encouraged to engage) is to define what I mean by “community.” After sorting through several dissatisfying definitions, I concluded on two ideas. First, community has the element of proximity; it refers to those you have relational influence over. Second, community has the element of commonality; they often share something in common.
People often neglect the things that unite us and focus on the things that divide us. As long as we are focused on division, there will be no collective progress. There is value in community, and I hope you will agree that we are better together than divided.
People don’t have to dig too deep into Google to find multiple stories about different communities that have banded together to overcome difficult circumstances. There seems to be a general consensus that, “When nature dishes out her worst, it brings out our best” (Chapman, 2015). It is unfortunate that too often catastrophe is the catalyst where genuine community manifests. Why?
Most people have some form of goodness in their heart. When tragedy strikes, people often put their differences aside to come together and help others.
Reality is that stories of humanity’s goodness often seem to be a rare blip on the radar of the news. But “heart-warming” stories of genuine community are accessible outside of the disaster zone.
There are always going to be people struggling to get by. People who suffer under the weight of mental illness, homelessness, or addiction. The beauty of community is that it puts aside our individual brokenness and focuses on our commonality as a whole. It’s possible for “heart-warming” moments of community to exist from day to day through authentic relationships.
If you’re reading this, you might be wondering where on earth you can find this sort of community. The reality is genuine community is often the exception rather than the norm in our world. It takes a group of committed individuals working together to unite under a common cause. Challenges can be opportunities to grow together.
This is the foundation of Press Together. We believe in the power of Community. We are Seventh-day Adventist Christians who are passionate about unlocking the fullness of humanity through positive community.
The book of Ecclesiastes, a collection of wise sayings in the Bible, says the following;
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up… Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12)
There is power in community to overcome challenges we can’t even perceive! Why not embrace the power of community today rather than wait for challenging circumstances to force us together? Will you join us?
Lachlan Harders is a student at Avondale College in Austrailia and part of the Press Together global team.