I used to think the hardest thing about being a pastor and "doing church" was preaching, teaching, administration, etc. But the longer I'm at it, the more I think it's something else. That something else is creating a real sense of "community." We talk about community and relationships alot at my church, and I do feel we have a genuine sense of community - but it's still not where I would like to see it be. And I know there are others in our church that probably struggle with it as well. I believe most of the struggle for community centers in our fears of really opening up and being who we are. I can't tell you how many times I hear people say they longed for community, but still said they hold back themselves in really opening up and being real, etc. Sometimes I feel like we're all walking around longing for community, yet we still lack the very thing we want because we're waiting for someone else to take the first step/make the first move.
I've been challenged in my own faith to be the one that steps first/makes the first move. When we do it - it's amazing what sometimes happens. We find a new friend, or a friendship goes deeper than we ever thought possible. Just this week I shared a deep wound with a friend (I became vulnerable) - and he in turn shared one - and our relationship has become more Christ-centered and what I'm looking for in relationships. We are developing more of a sense of "community."
So be challenged - step out. Make the first move. See what God does.
Peace my friends...