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3 Ways To Know You're Ready to Build a Community

In an age where loneliness is more and more commonplace, it seems that people are turning to established groups of like-minded people to find connection. It could be a group of people who share and believe in a brand's values, follow a particular social media influencer or support a movement. The buzzword is akin to a "tribe" or "community".

Maybe you sense that a part of your calling involves building a community around your blog, YouTube channel, book, business or ministry. That is truly fantastic. I want to point out that your community would be comprised of something that is of infinite value to God: the lives of men and women.

Therefore, in today's blog post, there are three things I want us to consider, to help us know if we're ready to shoulder this incredible responsibility.

#1: My commitment is being tested.

When we decide to establish a community, we have to be disciplined to consistently pour into their lives. If we struggle with commitment in small things, it will be difficult for us to manage a community who is committing to our message/cause. Luke 16:10 (NIV) says "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." Our commitment has to be tested to prepare us for carrying others where they have never gone before.

#2: I am understanding the weight of my influence.

When someone becomes a part of our community, he/she gives us the permission to speak into his/her life. This responsibility cannot be taken lightly. For example, during David's turbulent period of running from King Saul, he attracted a band of fierce and loyal men. At one point, David expressed his great desire for some water from a well near Bethlehem, not thinking that anyone would act upon it. But 2 Samuel 23:16 (NIV) says, "So the three mighty warriors broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David." They willingly risked their life for David, because of the trust and loyalty they developed. Our influence has weight.

Similar to Jim Jones or Martin Luther King Jr., we have the potential to have this kind of influence with people as well, therefore, we ought to use our influence for building up others.

#3: I am starting to gather my support team for delegation and collaboration.

When the vision for a community is great, it will eventually fail if it is carried alone. Jesus carefully selected his disciples before his public ministry as evangelist, healer and teacher. When I think about the day He miraculously multiplied bread and fish for over 5000 people, it was important to delegate other roles to his disciples. They organized the crowd into smaller groups and fed the people (See Matthew 14:13-21 and Mark 6:30-44). The mission expanded because He did not try to do everything on His own. We are reminded that no servant is greater than his master (see John 13:16), therefore we ought to follow Jesus’ example of gathering our support team as we get ready to build our community.

We can take comfort in the truth that God knows the plans and purposes He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11). If it is His will to give us a platform and a place of influence, He will process us for it, just like He did for Gideon, David, Moses and Joseph, to name a few. Let us be encouraged to submit to the Lord's refining process, so that He can trust us with a community.

Reflection Questions

  1. How is my commitment being tested right now?

  2. Do I tend to be careless with my words and actions?

  3. Am I more of a loner or a collaborator?

  4. Am I ready to build a community?

Kerry-Ann McPherson

Project Manager & Managing Editor, VBD Magazine



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