One of the most valuable things we can do when it comes to building community, whether it’s to support missionaries or to rally around a common purpose, is to communicate.
I think it’s important to state it again though. We live in an era where “speaking to the void” is easy. Social media enables us to say strong, passionate things to everyone and no-one at the same time. And that can sometimes cheapen the impact of what’s said. It can also cause injury.
That’s not me saying “social media is evil.” Good grief, do you think I’m trying to lose my job with Ethnos360 while I’m on Home Assignment? While I jest, I do want to make the case for authenticity when it comes to communication in general and specifically on social media. But that’s not the point I want to make today.
My point today is to put a magnifying glass on the value of the kind of two-way communication that comes from people talking with each other. This kind of communication is a BIG part of what we want to do during this specific time of community building (the six months of Home Assignment). It also flows out of a value that Bethany and I hold dearly: relationships.
That value, relationships, while seemingly trite on the surface, is actually very deep. To have a relationship with another person, you have to seek to know them, to recognize their value as a creation of God, because HE desired them to exist. And when you start with that, you take the time to draw them out, to listen to their story and to understand how that story is behind who they are right now, across the table or couch from you.
And when you can demonstrate that kind of commitment to the relationship, here comes a cheesy but appropriate word, synergy, happens. The energy that creates connections and helps values be shared, develops.
If it sounds like I’m over-describing a great conversation, I probably am 😉. But when it happens, it is so encouraging. God’s Word describes this as two iron tools coming into positive contact with each other, sharpening and making the other more effective. Two friends coming into contact with each other positively, sharpen and encourage each other to greater service.
So let me encourage you to seek out these kinds of exchanges this coming week.