I had just left a Zoom call with about 40 local women. Many are younger than me – ok – most of them! The excitement, energy and also concern about employment and the future – all of it was palatable. There is nothing those women can give me. Nothing, that is, from a business perspective. But they give me a lot in other ways. I experience a sense of true community with them.
How do we explain community?
I’m wondering if COVID is helping us to experience a deep appreciation for community even if trying to explain what it is eludes us. Maybe that’s part of what makes community so special – words cannot contain the vast life giving force community can bring to us. Some of that life giving force comes in the form of disappointment, unmet needs, moments of misunderstanding – all that, too, is part of this nourishing platform we call community. Indeed, vulnerability and rawness, also fit into this environment that protects us from becoming too comfortable even as we, ironically, draw comfort from it. Finally, there is the mutual receiving and giving that emboldens a community – as we give, we receive and visa versa. 1+1 = 4, then 8, then 16, then it becomes something that is clearly unquantifiable in value. It becomes impossible to keep an accounting of who owes who how much as the wave of generosity brought forth through the community sweeps away the need for such trite methods of attempting to measure the immeasurable.
Truly Experiencing Community is Conditional
Who doesn’t want what I described above? I believe most, if not all of us want to enter the mystery of community. There is a condition to this experience, however. We cannot control the environment, we can only contribute to it. For those of us who enter community with highly defined expectations, we will short-circuit the opportunity, both for ourselves and those we are with, to experience what I described above.
There is something to be said for preparing ourselves for entering into this sacred space of “one anothering.” You will feel like you give far more than you take or like you have to hold your tongue far more than you’d like. You’ll be tempted to bring out your scale and weigh the pros and cons of engagement. Each of those actions pulls you farther away from the very experience you seek. A healthy community cannot give you identity like a sorority or fraternity are expected to do. I put forth that a healthy community embraces the identity of each person – dignifying, honoring, pursuing and empowering each among. There is no jealousy, envy, strife. In a healthy community there is no comparing or sense of lack. There is completeness within the one and so there is completeness among the collective.
Community at its Best
This, then, is what we are slowly creating among our community in Coach’s Edge. We are like-minded in Christ, we are of similar callings expressed through coaching, we are clear on our personal identities in Christ and yet, we are growing within the community as we are accepted, loved, challenged, embraced and do the same for one another. It’s a beautiful expression of “one anothering” and each event is a highlight in my month. The time with my fellow Offroaders fuels me for the time I spend with the other community described at the opening of this article. I go in a coach, I love as a Christian and I minister to the hearts of enthusiasm, confusion, anticipation, wondering – all of that is in front of me. I minister as I sense I have permission to enter into the mystery of that community. The outcome is that both Coach’s Edge and this group of young women fuel me in my work: Community at its best.
Are you ready for community? Community membership to Coach’s Edge opens in less than one month. Schedule an interest call with our Community Manager, Brittany, if you’d like to assess whether you are ready to join this Offroading group of hungry and humble professionals seeking to build up and be built up for the work of their respective roles as coaches.
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