As A People United In Purpose
When I reflect on community, summer camp comes to mind. Camp brings together a diverse group of youth who don’t know one another, yet for seven days, campers do nearly everything together. Over the course of a week, kids eat, sleep, hike, and worship collectively. You might think inviting a group of strangers into the woods and asking them to peacefully coexist would be a recipe for chaos. Yet, in my years as a camp counselor, more times than not, I’ve observed powerful bonds created quickly at camp.
Camp has taught me that one of the fastest ways to establish community is uniting around a common purpose. For example, the climbing wall. The goal of the climbing wall is to get every camper over the top. Inevitably, one of the more athletic kids will quickly scale the wall on his or her own, yet he or she soon realizes not every camper is gifted with this strength, skill, or height. Furthermore, the climbing wall is not about individual accomplishment.
Since all eventually need to reach the top, the group has to work together in order to succeed. I have witnessed the wall conquered in a variety of ways. Sometimes the strongest kids will jointly pull smaller kids over the top. Often backs or shoulders transform into stairs or cranes, lifting campers to the summit. While there is more than one way to accomplish the goal, campers have to mutually decide on a strategy that will work for all, and they have to stick with it to succeed. Uniting around a common goal, while respecting the diverse strengths and perspectives of the group, is important in forming community.
Query for Reflection
Are you able to work with others toward a common goal, while at the same time respecting the diversity of opinions and abilities within your community?
Invite your meeting to host a visioning session in which you discern and articulate a common goal and vision for where God is leading you as a faith community.
When we encounter walls that feel insurmountable, Christ, grant our communities ample courage and imagination to work together to overcome the challenges before us. Amen.