Building Community with the Unfamiliar | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
July 2017

Building Community with the Unfamiliar

By Carl Gladstone (NCJ & NEJ)

By Carl Gladstone and Chris Wilterdink

Making yourself available for the needs of others is an integral marker in a life of discipleship. It can take time, sometimes years, for a person to develop confidence in their faith, and step outside their own comfort zone for the sake of another. Over the past year, Carl Gladstone has written several blog posts with suggestions and observations for disciples who are willing to be in their communities and building diverse relationships.

If you have seen any of the #seeallthepeople conversation from Discipleship Ministries, you already know that intentionality can drive outreach. Knowing why you reach out is as important as how you reach out.

Give Carl’s posts on the sidebar to the right a read, and consider these reflection questions for your own context:

  • Do you see injustice in the community where you live?
  • When has your church done any (or all) of Jesus’ three tactics?
  • Are there any of these tactics that your church does not do well?
  • How could young people effectively help their church see injustice?
  • Have you personally experienced awkward interactions with a young person in a faith setting? How did you, or your group, move beyond the initial awkwardness of welcoming another who “didn’t seem to belong?”
  • How might “small, safe conversations” help your efforts to connect with people in your community that do not attend your church?
  • Where are the meeting places that naturally fit for you, or your church members, to spend time in the community? Where are the places that young people spend their time?
  • How could the ideas in Philippians 2:3-8 influence the way that your church interacts with young people in your community?