Have you ever thought about why you do what you do? I pondered this the other day as I filled out a speaking application. As some of you know, I like to cook and create adventure in the kitchen. Some of you may remember this post about how I see food. Food is great in and of itself, but I see it as a means by which bonds are formed between the bellies that are filled and the laughter that is shared during the cooking process and meal. I had to think hard about how I would bring people into my world and my understanding of food if I were to cook on a platform. Today, I’m sharing with you 5 secrets to finding your community.
- See the bigger picture– Think about why you do what you do. There is a bigger purpose and picture behind the scenes if you really think about it. If you are having trouble figuring that out, think about the results you gain from your hobby. It may be financial, but think deeper than that. It cannot simply be money, because there a tons of ways to make decent money. Dig deeper than that. For me, it’s the bond that is formed when you cook in the kitchen and you get to eat a delishious (hopefully!) meal together. If nothing else, you make memories which also created a bond.When people share such experiences, they grow to support one another through the good and the bad times in life. They know they are cared for in other matters that reach far beyond any hobby.
- Be intentional– More than likely, you are going to have to think about people you want in your community, or whose community you would like to join. I would like to encourage you to set goals in place to help you establish relationships with those people. I know it may sound silly, but if you are going to be intentional, you have to be prepared and be honest. Part of preparing is setting goals and staying accountable. Write these goals down to keep them at the forefront of your mind. For me, a goal might be, invite 3 new friends over to cook and eat together in the next month. You don’t necessarily have to meet in those four weeks, but get some dates on the calendar. Be honest. If you are going through a hard time, contact some of the names on your list and say, “I’m going through a rough time and could really use some community. Would you like to get together to do cook a dinner together sometime?” When you are honest, people understand your desires more clearly.
- Get out of your comfort zone-It’s ok to be particular, but I also encourage you to find others different from you that you wouldn’t normally choose. You may learn a thing or two from them and grow. You don’t have to share the same exact goals or interests in life, just a desire to grow and support one another.
- Maintain a positive attitude-There will be some who do not have time or a desire be in community for one reason or another. Don’t take it personal and don’t let that stop you in your tracks. Don’t overanalyze if you are making the right decision either. Try to accept it for what it is without inquiry (no one owes you an explaination) and keep pushing forward. Add several people to your list that might be up for community. You never know if you never attempt.
- Offer friendship and support– When you find those people who want to do life with you, offer your full self. Serve one another. Eat together. Offer friendship and support through the good and bad times, because that will be the glue that holds the community together. Do things to help one another in times of need. Call one another to check in and pray together and for one another. Discover and delight in one anothers passions and dreams.
In the early church in Jerusalem, the meal was one of the most intimate forms of fellowship. In the ancient eastern world, when a guest was invited to a meal, it was expected the host provide a safe place and sense of protection for the guest. This partly explains the actions of Lot when the men of Sodom want to harm his guests (Genesis 19:1-8).
I believe communities change lives and changed lives change the world. I would love to someday be able to take families to different places around the world to foster a deeper sense of oneness the world. I haven’t quite figured out how to do that just yet, but it would involve missions and food, my two favorite things on the planet.
Are you searching for community or do you need to find community? I would love to hear!