We talk a lot about community, and how important it is to our lives. Almost a decade ago, I made the best decision I’ve ever made and left college to do an internship at my church. That internship led me to the best friends I’ve ever had – the people we have holidays with and know will be there no matter what happens. We weren’t made to go through life alone – we need other people to lean on. One of the questions I get asked the most though whenever I talk about community, is HOW. And I get it, it feels like the older we get, the harder it becomes to make friends. When you’re a kid, you find the person in the lunchroom that has the same taste in lunch as you, and you bond of a shared love of the Baby-Sitters Club, and bam – you’re friends. But as you get older, it seems that life gets busier, and there are less ‘natural’ settings to make lasting relationships. Since we get asked about it so often, we wanted to share some of the things we’ve found work for finding community as an adult.
-Find a church
If you’re a person of faith like we are, getting involved in a church is a great way to find community as an adult. Most of our close friends are people we’ve met at our church, and spent time with over the past decade.
-Get involved in a group
David and I have been involved in a young marrieds group for the past few years, and over the last year, we have taken over leading it with another couple who are some of our really good friends. It’s one of my favorite nights of the week – it’s great to have something set aside where we know we’re going to be seeing other couples that are in a similar season of life.
The older you get, the less time you have to invest in friendships. I know it’s an overused cliche, but I would always rather have quality friends than be friends with everyone. My favorite type of people to be friends with are loyal people – life gets difficult, and the best way to have a lasting community is by being selective about building it with the right kind of people.
A community doesn’t just happen – it’s built intentionally. It takes a lot of effort and making the decision to carve out time to get to know people, even when life is busy.
-Be willing to have and hear hard conversations
I don’t know if it’s possible to have lasting, deep friendships without being willing to have tough conversations to work through conflict. You have to be willing to both hear hard things about yourself, and be able to confront problems kindly.