Many of us can find it difficult to jump in and become part of a community–whether it’s in a new church, the city or neighborhood we live in, our children’s school or the homeschool community–and even the blogging community.
Often, it can seem as if some places are too closely knit, or appear as cliques, to get in. (And sometimes the cliques actually exist).
I’ve learned three ways to jump in and become part of a community
- Be helpful. This is no secret–esp. in the blogging world. But, typically any community you want to be a part of will embrace someone who’s willing to serve–in any capacity. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that God designed us to serve.
- Be vulnerable. This is tough. Really tough. However, I noticed that when we allow ourselves to open up about our life, even just a little at a time, we learn we aren’t alone and form deep connections with the people around us. People recognize they aren’t alone and have a desire to connect, thus opening up and sharing, too.
- Be committed. You get out of something what you put into it. If you enter into a community and aren’t intentional about being committed to “show up”, it’s not going to be what you need it to be.
I’d like to apply these principles specifically to the Allume community, since everyone reading this is a part of it.
We’ve touched on commenting in a previous post , but this is a large part of how community happens; engagement. If you never comment, how can we know you? How can we visit your blog? If you do comment and have a blog, be sure your link is included on the comment form so we can come back to your place and stop in for a visit. There have been countless times I’ve wanted to follow someone back, and they didn’t include a link back.
Another place is via social media. For Allume, it’s particularly the #Allume twitter stream. People converse and share blog posts that people can relate with. We share quotes and funnies that we can laugh at. We share accomplishments and prayer requests. Come be a part, even if you don’t fully understand Twitter. Sometimes we need to just step out and meet people right where they are. (If you prefer to converse on Facebook, let us know! We’ll step out and meet you there!)
I know many of you are attending the Allume conference in October and you’re apprehensive because this is a new experience for you. Some of you have never been away from home since you got married or had children. You’re anxious for the unknown; you don’t know what to expect.
What if I don’t connect with anyone?
What if no one recognizes me?
What if no one wants to talk to me because my blog is tiny, or I don’t even have one?
As someone who has asked all of these questions, let me assure you, it’s most likely not what you think. Sure, we will all have our own perspectives on what we experience, but chances are high you’re blowing it up in your mind.
The women of Allume, they don’t look for stats posted on someone’s forehead. No, they recognize how much in common they have with other women because Christ is the center of it all.
People come, and get way more then they bargained for.
So, what can you expect from the Allume conference? Kindred spirits.