As human beings we are fundamentally designed for each other.
Even the most introverted personality is still at some level stamped with the image of God. And community is the most essential expression of God in His Trinitarian form. We need community because we are created for community.
So many of our society’s problems arise from the fact that we have lost sight of our essential need for other people. We have become so curved inward on the self that we have forgotten others and our interrelationship with them.
I am convinced that one key to healing the ills of the urban city (or, indeed, the world) is building community. Any charitable or governmental activity aimed at alleviating the problems of poverty without including community at its core is destined for inefficiency and ineffectiveness.
At Bud’s Warehouse and the various businesses of Belay Enterprises, we start every morning intentionally striving for community by meeting together. One morning we do a bible study, another we provide a job training activity, and on Wednesdays we go around the room sharing individual successes and challenges .
Some may call these meetings team building, but it’s much deeper than that. We work hard to create safe environments where each person feels free to share what is going on in their life, both the good and the challenging.
For people rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness and prison, each of these challenges arise from essential aloneness. When we strive for community, we build the environment for healing and wholeness. Because, in the end, community heals… community with God and with each other.