So my last few posts have been all about making plans – plans to turn our good intentions into our best successes – in 4 major areas of life:
Leading/Supporting my family
Using the gifts God gave me
If you ever feel as if life is running faster than you can keep up, these posts are for you. Setting an agenda for key areas of our lives enables us to stay laser focused on accomplishing what really matters to us.
Today, I’ll share the last post for this series: my plan to build community with others. All work and no play…..well, who lives that way? Not me! I LOVE breaking free of my responsibilities and goofing off. I secretly hope for cancelled events or snow days….reasons to plop on my couch and watch movies. And hanging with my friends….they make me laugh and keep me sane! But, if I’m not careful, my calendar will be so full of have-to’s that I won’t I have time for get-to’s. Sooooo, I PLAN it! Here’s my plan for building community with others:
1. Time for friends:
- The first Wednesday of each month is blocked off for random fun with friends. We shop for new jeans, drink way too much Starbucks, or discover new places to eat lunch. We chat about parenting, the latest tv shows, and swap recipes. Sometimes we’ve engaged in bible studies, other times we’ve met at someone’s house to plan a monthly menu. Sounds exciting, right? Well, it is. Time with my friends – whatever we choose to do – is gold! But, I’ve learned that unless I schedule it, I’ll get too busy for it.
- Each Sunday night my family and I attend our Life Group, a small group of friends from church who get together to eat dinner and discuss the sermon we heard at Mountain Lake. I am open and honest with these friends about the victories and struggles in my life. They make me better!
- Remember my plan for personal growth? Exercising is a big deal to me, but I hate doing it alone. Instead, I partner with 2 friends. We get fit and grow in friendship everyday.
- I set reminders on my Google Calendar for birthdays and anniversaries for my close friends. I want them to know they are important to me.
- I text my friends. A lot. Random messages of encouragement, funny one-liners, inquiring about their day, prayers for them…..I never underestimate the power of connecting with my friends.
2. Time for mentoring others
- Relationships are not all about what I can receive, but also about what I can give. That’s why I set aside the 4th Thursday of each month to invest into others. Sometimes I meet with other pastors’ wives to coach them through the challenges of ministry; other times I meet with local friends who need a little direction in finances, marriage, or parenting. My goal is to sharpen their skills and faith. To do so, we set time parameters, agendas, and how many sessions we’ll meet together.
- Jesus told us in Scripture to “go and make disciples.” The word “go” literally means “as you go.” Since I take Jesus at His word, I do my best to keep my eyes and ears open as I encounter people each day. Random conversations can become something much more powerful when I simply become aware of God’s activity around me. Encouraging someone during a marital trial, encouraging a tired parent, complimenting a weary friend, sharing a bible verse with a struggling friend….God can use me to mentor and coach others anytime, anywhere.
Do you have a plan to build relationships with people? People need you. And, you need people. I’ve shared my plan, but what does it look like for you?
- A weekly play date with other moms who have kids the same age as yours?
- A monthly dinner with neighbors?
- Joining a Life Group?
- A monthly meeting with a younger friend who could benefit from your wisdom?
Put your thinking cap on and make a plan. Remember, you don’t have to change the world. Just change your world.