My wife and I just recently moved to Dallas from Tulsa so that I could begin my studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. Like most non-Dallasites, we were quickly taken aback, not just at the abundance of churches in the Greater Dallas metroplex, but also with the multitudes that inhabited them. With countless of churches whose congregations range in the thousands, my wife and I asked ourselves “how do you find community here?”
The past few months I have been observing how people do community here in Dallas. I thought I would do the layman some service and give you these “how-to’s” in creating community in any church you step into.
1. The Bro Hug – This is a staple in all Christian circles. Fellas, you will want to learn this because you will be using this a lot. The “bro hug” is achieved by taking your right hand and slapping your acquaintances hand while simultaneously using your grip to pull him into your chest, while taking your left hand and patting him on the back three times (three times because God is trinity; be theological in your greetings).
2. After Prayer Hand Squeeze – Often new believers are caught off guard on this one. It is executed at the end of a prayer where hands are being held. As the prayer comes to a conclusion there is a gentle squeeze of your partners hand when everyone says “amen.” This communicates, “I’m here for you and we are going to get through this together.” It is an important move.
3. Learn to Like Coffee – Only true fellowship happens in coffee houses. Trendy Christians go to Pearl Cup while others settle for Starbucks.
4. “Everything’s Fine” – Regardless of the validity of this statement, this is the proper response to the question “How are you?” You only see these people once a week, so why really tell them that you are struggling in your marriage, or your intimacy with God is fading?
Obviously these are satirical, but I think if we were honest this is our Christian community; the same people who sit in our pews once a week. As Christians, true authentic community is essential for our spiritual growth and true authentic community is not superficial. A church without community is merely the Jesus Christ memorial society. However, a church with authentic community, now that is the body of Christ.
What other “Community How-To’s” did I leave off of this list? Leave a Comment!