One of the hardest parts of being a young adult is building Christian community. Whether you live in your hometown and are trying to find new friends since your hometown friends have left, or whether you have moved to a new city and are trying to find a new group of friends, you probably have felt the struggles of building a community of friends.
As Christians, we have an opportunity to build real community with fellow Christians who are around our age. It’s not without challenges, but there are some definite ways we can foster relationships with those around us. God calls us to live in community, which is beneficial to our faith!
Here are some ways we can build genuine Christian community as young adults—no matter what life stage we are in.
Accommodate Different Life Stages
Part of the challenge of building community in your twenties and thirties is that there’s such a large variety of life stages—some people are single, some are married, some have kids. And, of course, everyone has different schedules. Those who work in corporate jobs might prefer to get together in the evening, while those who have kids would like to meet before pre-bedtime tantrums occur.
Although no one time will likely work for everyone, it’s important to take into account the different needs of people in your group. Maybe you alternate your meeting times every other week, or you have multiple options for people to choose from.
Encouraging people to bring their kids is another way to accommodate different life stages! At our young adult Bible study, we always welcome kids of all ages. Parents typically worry about how the kids will behave or if they will interrupt, but we’re just happy to have the whole family together.
You can’t build community as a young adult if you just superficially interact with those around you. Just showing up and saying “hello” isn’t enough. Actually get to know the people in your community group. Choosing a Bible study that opens the door for honest conversation is a great way to learn about people’s struggles and lives.
Hanging out with people one on one is another way to be intentional about building community. Don’t just limit your time together to your group meetings at church; grab dinner together, meet up at a local event in your neighborhood, or have a playdate with your kids.
The greatest piece of advice I can give is to just show up—be present with the people around you. When you’re in your twenties and thirties, your time is precious, and you might feel like you don’t have time to invest in building relationships with those at church. It does take time, but it’s totally worth it.
Show up to as many events as you can, including Bible study and fun events. Of course, it’s important to balance your social life with rest, so don’t over-exert yourself. But as you feel able, take the time to invest in building relationships with those around you.
Hoping to build or re-build connections in your life?