Amy Carroll » Ministry Development » Building Community

Building Community

I am a typical extrovert.  Interactions with others fuel me, and I start to fade without them.

This is particularly true in ministry.  My best ideas come from conversations with my friends, Next Step clients or ministry colleagues.  Interactions with people in close community feed our souls and fuel our ministries. Even if you’re an introvert, speaking or writing can get to be a very lonely existence when disconnected from others in your field.

Often it’s hard to connect your friends and family into your ministry dreams, because their dreams may be very different.  Because of this, it’s important to begin to build a community of people around you who share your goals, hopes and dreams.  I’ve been thinking about my communities for which I’m exceedingly grateful, and I’d love to encourage you to build your own.  Here are some tips and thoughts.

  • Seek out or start a writers’ group.  A couple of years ago, a writer friend invited me to her small writers’ group, and I’ve attended ever since.  Ours isn’t a critique group.  We mainly function to inspire and encourage each other, but that’s exactly what I need.  You can find a group or form a group to meet your needs too.  There’s lots of information out there about how to form a writers’ group. Click here to read a link with a great description on how to start a group.
  • Start an action group.  Michaela, my sweet intern, told me about a group she has with a group of other speakers in her homeschool speaking co-op.  They met as an accountability group to set goals as a group and individually.  Each one would report progress at the next meeting.  My friend Cindy and I have formed a group of two 🙂  to work through Michael Hyatt’s Platform.  We’ve stalled a little in going through the book as we work on new websites, but we are going through section by section, discussing the book’s content, making action steps and sharing our progress.  We’ve also been giving each other feedback which is a tremendous help.  You can’t imagine how I lit up yesterday when she told me she loves my new tagline!  (I’ll invite you to the unveiling in a couple of weeks!)
  • Form a prayer group.  There’s nothing more powerful than prayer to unite a group.  Invite friends in ministry to come together and pray for each other regularly.  You could cover upcoming events or projects as well as praying over individual’s needs and taking time for corporate worship.
  • Be generous.  This isn’t a concrete step but rather an attitude to develop in order to form strong community.  Jeff Goins is writing a lot about generosity, and I encourage you to visit his blog.  He is an incredible example of growing community and ministry simply by starting with an open and generous heart.

Are you a part of a community that feeds your soul and fuels your ministry?  We’d love to hear about it!

Also, we’d love for you to join Next Step in our social networking community.  We’re on Facebook and Twitter, and you’ll find daily encouragement built around the theme in our weekly blog posts.

Amy

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the encouragement, Amy. I’ve been part of a local writers’ group for a couple years now that meets monthly. But I have wanted to be part of a smaller group. There wasn’t one here. So I started one! I asked a gal in my writers’ group if she’d be interested and she agreed.

    We had two more people by the next day! We meet twice a month to critique and encourage each other. We check in with each other daily via e-mail and we pray for each other in between meetings. It’s made me accountable, since I need to have something to read each time and because we’re a small group, we each have more time to share . So far it’s going great.

  2. Amy, thank you for the great posts and practical tips. I truly look forward to them each week. I am part of a newly formed action group. We meet monthly, and we’re all very excited about it. As I read this post, I couldn’t help think, “what about the introverts who feel drawn to a life of writing and speaking as God sees fit.” I feel like I am a bit of a mixture. I am certainly one who is fueled by time alone, yet ideas often flow too fast for me to contain when I’m fellowshipping with other women. For years I’ve still felt lonely as I’ve not been able to find and connect with women who share the same or similar passions and dreams as I have for writing and speaking. Possibly starting a writers group may be what I need to do. Any suggestions?

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Monica,
      I think a mix is probably the right thing for each of us. I’m an extrovert who still likes time by myself. Like you, it’s when I’m alone that I can let the ideas flow and develop. Being in a writer’s group feeds my need to be connected with other writers–especially on the days when I don’t feel like a writer at all. I’d give it a try! We’ve given some links on FB and Twitter this week with advice about how to start your own group. Hope it helps!

      Amy