The Greatest Commandment calls us into deep and loving relationship with God and others. As God’s people, loving God and loving others is ‘be’-ing a community. Thus, community is a relational outcome of living out this Love Commandment.
Community however does not happen naturally. In cities where there are multiple Y teams and ministries, they face challenges of becoming a community. Why is that so?
Here are some of my thoughts on what may be necessary for building a Y community in a city. And when one or more of these are missing or lacking, the sense of community may also suffer.
Obviously, the key players in a city are the
- City Convener and
- Leaders of teams, bases, and ministries
A couple of key ingredients include
- Commitment to relationship
- Willingness to allocating time, and finances to gather with the rest of the Y family
In our present Y designation, a convener is one who gathers… whose priority is in the building of a Y community. A convener in a given city needs to be passionate about the value of community. He/she sees great value and necessity for the Y family in coming together – on regular basis, for times of communication, celebrating friendship, prayer and worship, and corporate hearing from God.
Team, base and ministry leaders are usually focused in what they are doing. And rightly so. It would be great if all these leaders are similarly passionate and committed to the wider Y family in their city. Community would likely happened quickly and powerfully.
However, this is not always the case. There may be leaders who feel that activities outside of their focus are distractions, inconveniences and even burden.
To build commitment to relationship, a wise convener necessarily looks beyond his/her own immediate team to serve the broader Y family in the city. He/she takes initiative and invest in visiting and building relationship with other leaders. He/she uses patience as he/she knows that it may take a longer time to win some leaders over. But over time, through humility and persistence, a convener builds trust and strong friendship with fellow leaders in the city.
The cost of time and finances. All of us know that relationship takes time to build. It will also cost us financially. It is the willingness to pay the price that will eventually build strong relationship among leaders and produce a strong connected and related community.
The Psalmist declared that when God’s people dwell in unity, He commands his blessings! May our Y family in every city become great communities all across Asia living out the Greatest Commandment of Love!
* For more information from the ALLC on developing community, click here.