Captivating Community: Online

I'm honestly not sure what day we are on in this "Social distancing" thing, but one thing I am realizing in all of this: community is STILL important.


If you've read my posts before or know me at all: I'm an introvert, but I love people (really probably an 'ambivert' but that's besides the point). We all joked at the beginning that this is an introverts dream, and not going to lie - I was a little pumped that it was encouraged to sit at home and not hang out. This allowed me time to rest, relax, nap, read, write, whatever, all alone, without feeling guilty about it.


It was great for the first 2 days, but I quickly got over it. You see, as much as I love my alone time or reach my people max faster than others, I THRIVE on quality time - whether one on one or with a small group. With only going to work and coming straight home - which by the way I am thankful that I can still go to work, practice social distancing, and be out of the house - I quickly realized that this "alone" thing wasn't going to cut it.


Within the first few days, Taylor and I have watched probably 7 or 8 movies, multiple tv episodes, and scrolled on our phones for hours. Yes - we've had great time together, but community is more than sitting on the couch with a loved one watching movies or reading all day.


I created this website with the idea to help people connect, to foster community, to bring people together. While there are new challenges to captivate community, it doesn't mean we don't stop trying.


We are now forced (or encouraged) to slow down, pause, and rest, shifting our focus on what really matters. My favorite duo group (Johnnyswim) shared this the other day: "Something about this shift in perspective feels right. Probably because it is. Focusing and caring for our neighbors, spending time in stillness, spending time bored, daydreaming, creating new ways to stay connected, to worship, to play. We're wasting less resources and less time. It sucks in many ways, but it's beautiful too. No pressure, no diamonds."


Yeah, I'm crying too.


You see, I first thought of this as a time for me to rest, veg, relax, etc. While this is true in some capacity, it's not an excuse to hide away, to retreat into a shell and be in solitude. Introverted or not, I need people; you need people. That's why God wants us in community with others. If I, or you, continue to retreat in solitude, we quickly find out how lonely we are. And you know what - this loneliness can still happen if you live with someone else.


In a weird way, we've been gifted with opportunity. We've been gifted time. Those things you promised you'd do January 1st? Well, now there's time. Those relationships you need mend or people you need to reach out to? Well, now there's time. That neighbor that might need a helping hand? Well, now there's time. Those deep conversations or check-ins with your friends? Well, now there's time.


Just because we are social distancing doesn't mean we cut off communication.


If you're a part of a church family: your leaders are working tirelessly to find ways to continue worship, groups, and present Jesus in virtual ways. If you're not but have been thinking for awhile to visit: please do! Visiting a church or small group viritually could be a great, comfortable step toward finding what you're looking for. If neither of these are you: still connect with your friends and family. Bottom line here: whatever "category" you fit into - we all need pepole.


But wait, how do I do this?


Fortunately we live in the technology era. You can easily Facetime, Skype, Netflix Party (watch your fave movie or show with your friends), call people, continue your groups or meetings via video chat, play virtual games, and so much more! But friend, don't let this season be wasted by hiding out. Loneliness is a difficult and dark place, and now more than ever we need support; we need community, and what better time to do so?


Use this season to foster new and grow existing community. I promise you won't regret it.