I’m kind of an “in-between” in regards to being an introvert or an extrovert. I like to be around big crowds; I feel most comfortable hanging out with a group of about 20. But one-on-one times are also a great way to connect and go deeper with friends.
This past Saturday was my birthday… my 30th birthday. I’m officially not in my 20’s any more. This year, my birthday just so happened to fall on the weekend of [nlcf]’s Fall Retreat. On Saturday morning, before lunch, I had probably heard “Happy Birthday” about 15 times. It started off feeling awkward – it’s a strange thing to have 80 people sing to you. Then by the end of the morning, it was kind of fun. That evening, we had some folks over at our house for dinner and cupcakes. The night ended with a few friends sitting around a campfire in our backyard just hanging out and talking. Each part of the day was special and enjoyable.
In my moments when I’m feeling like an introvert, I’ve found that I still enjoy and see the need for times of connecting with friends. In moments when I’m feeling more extroverted, something strange happens and I get recharged by being around a larger group of people I feel connected to. In either case, I’ve found that I have a desire to be connected with others. That desire doesn’t just apply to me – it’s something that is built into every one of us. God has made us for community.
This brings up questions like: Am I a part of a genuine community? What is that community encouraging me towards? How am I active in that community?
Community is central to who we are here at [nlcf]. After all, our name is New Life Christian Fellowship. It’s built into our DNA.
Our Sunday Community Gatherings are a great way for us to come together and worship God. We’re challenged by the teachings and we have the great opportunity to worship God through song. But there’s more to connecting with others and God than just what happens on Sunday mornings or evenings. We need times to personally connect with other individuals: times to listen, times to talk, times to encourage, times to challenge, times to learn, and even times to teach each other.
Engage Groups are a great place to see these things happen. I could go into a description of what they are and what they’re all about, but it’s already been done. So, I’d just say to go here and you can learn a little more. I encourage you to consider checking them out. They’re a great way to connect with others. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, there’s a place for you in community.
~ Steve Englund