Can you find it? Part 2
July 29, 2008
Read Part 1 here.
Sometimes I wish people would not help me make a point. I got an email from Julie at GBOD (Global Board of Discipleship.) She’s the young adult coordinator? anyway she’s one of the people that is in charge of young adult ministries for the national UMC. They have a new website (actually just a new URL, the site has been around for about a year.) They added a number of new events and features so I went to check it out.
There was a link for young adult blogs, and since I’m new to the blogging world I thought I’d go look to see what some of my peers had to say. And to my sadness and dishearten-ment (I think I just made up that word) about fifty percent of the links don’t work. So besides being a metaphor… this broken link thing is literally true. I once wrote an email to a pastor who was looking for some tips on the 20-something mindset. Among other things, I said that we are acutely aware that “Facebook friends” are not real friends. And I think that all is a part of what I’m trying to say. We are surrounded by glossy, user accessible, happy/smiley pseudo-community that ultimately has no depth. (And that’s not to say that this is some system being unwittingly foisted upon us; we are master manipulators of it. I just mean that it has become part of what our world looks like.)
So… enough ranting, I promised solutions, (well at least alternatives)
- Demonstrate authentic community. Send people actual birthday cards. Ask how people’s families are doing. Help people move out of their house. Work on service projects together.
- Follow up on commitments. Show up when you RSVP. Show that welcome is more than hello.
- Persevere through rough times. All this stuff takes time.
- Show people your weaknesses. That means you’re a real person.
- Be Honest or there might be consequences.
- Throw out the fanciness when it’s getting in the way of the substance.
I think it’s easier said than done. But that’s the real behind the real.