We are Made for Community…not Zoom

IMG_4196

We are Made for Community…not Zoom

This year, our family “celebrated” Easter together via Zoom. I’m a huge fan of Zoom, but not as a gratifying substitute for a family gathering. Each of us in our own homes. Cooking for ourselves. Missing one another. Not the same. We hope it’s never to be repeated again.

When it came time for our 4pm Zoom call, we were eager for our connection. It was as fun as it could possibly be…sharing stories, listening and affirming one another, enjoying a few laughs, cooing at the two babies, and even the dog. But, it certainly wasn’t our preference, even though we made the best of it.

What we longed for was in-person community. Family hugs and kisses. Physical presence at the dining room table. Cooking, cleaning, relaxing…playing a game, taking a walk, enjoying a meal. COVID-19 shut that down. Zoom made it possible, but it wasn’t our preference.

I’m not bitter about it, but certainly disappointed. Resurrection Sunday is the highlight of the Christian year. Not only did our family meet by Zoom, but so did our church family. It was deeply meaningful in worship and liturgy, but noticeably lacking in one very significant way: community.

God made us for community. Isolation is not God’s preference, unless for silence and solitude and the quiet disciplines of the spiritual life. But, when we worship, fellowship, and serve others in mission, we are designed for each of those priorities to be achieved in community.

As we are all fulfilling the mandate to maintain physical distance, perhaps your longing for community is growing too. As we anticipate this pandemic to someday be over, how is it that we can prepare our hearts and minds for reentry into community?  Here are a few of my musings for what it’s worth…

  1. Pray for your community. We can’t be together physically but we certainly can pray. Thank God for your community and pray blessings over each member of your community,  whether it’s your local church, small group, ministry team, etc.
  2. Send notes of encouragement to your community. The easiest is via email but perhaps you could send a hand-written note instead.
  3. Connect with individual members of your community. Call a soul friend for mutual encouragement, or reach out to someone living alone or in need. Drop off a meal or flowers or a note of encouragement.
  4. Create a gift to offer your community. Write a poem about your community or create a collage of photos that remind you of your community or draw a picture, even with words, to describe what your community means to you. Share that when appropriate.
  5. Stay in touch with your community…yes, via Zoom or FaceTime or Google Hangouts…until the restrictions are over and you can meet face to face.
  6. Be intentional in noticing how God has defined community in the Scriptures. Do some research (it’s tempting to tell you where to read, but I’ll let you find out!) and then share your findings with your community.
  7. Inventory your heart about your community, asking yourself (prayerfully) how you’ve contributed positively to your community and confess before the Lord how you’ve stood in the way of building healthy community. Be honest and seek forgiveness if necessary.

We are made for community. Church. Neighborhood. Friendship. Family. Marriage. All the primary relationships of life help us define community. Lean in to the gifts of community now and hopefully we’ll all be better prepared to reengage with one another sooner than later.

 

SHARE THIS POST

Can't find what you're looking for?

Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

Detailed Biography
Articles by Stephen Macchia
Author Website
Schedule a one-on-one with Steve

Fill out my online form.

Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.