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Community is a complicated topic. It’s a conversation laced with many layers, a wide variety of interpretations and definitions, and typically, it comes accompanied with a ton of painful baggage and unmet expectations.

But in this episode, Cindy and Renae get the rare opportunity to sit down face-to-face with author, speaker and fellow podcaster, Wayne Jacobsen, as they explore this important conversation from the comforts of Cindy’s living room – a fitting location for such a relational topic. Together, the trio share openly and honestly about the struggle and beauty that is community. In the end, they consider that perhaps community should really just be called … friendship.

This episode is part 1 of a 2-part recording: Part 2 – Wayne Jacobsen – Confronting Community: On Differences & Conflict (#022)

“Community is not a thing to do; it’s a way to be. Community is not a thing to create, it’s not a place to go, it’s a way to move through the world.” —Renae Kulhawe

Episode Quotes:

  • I see a lot of people try to form community by some institutional system and a planning thing, or some sort of model. So we start with strangers but put them through a process and community will happen. And I’m not on that page. I think community happens because people find a growing freedom in Christ, which leads them to be more authentic, and authenticity leads to the community we desire.
  • Acting doesn’t get you to community. Reality does. Authenticity does.
  • I find community is so much more organic than that. If I care about you, we’ll have community. If you care about me, community will happen. It happens out of friendship.
  • When you talk about being your authentic self, there are people that don’t even know what their authentic self is. They’ve been lying to themselves for so long, and in a Christian context, pretending to be a better person than they are for so long, they don’t even know who they are. So they’re mostly managing an image.
  • I think a great test of community is if you’re coming over to my house or I’m going over to your house, am I looking forward to that? That’s a good sign of community.
  • Community happens because people become friends.
  • Friendship isn’t something we manufacture. It happens.
  • The Kingdom of God is never an imposition; it’s always an invitation.
  • I want conversations that matter with people who care.
  • When you have that sense of each other’s journey, I’m not trying to push your freedom and you’re not trying to push mine, we can have community. But once you become my fixer or I try to become yours, there’s no community there. That’s just manipulation.
  • Control is an illusion and agenda’s destroy friendship.

Guest Bio:

Wayne Jacobsen served as a pastor for twenty years and was also a contributing editor to Leadership Journal. He has authored a number of books that have helped people find a more vibrant walk with God and a more grace-filled church experience. He has written and worked with others on a variety of books including He Loves MeFinding ChurchSo You Don’t Want to Go to Church AnymoreA Man Like No Other, and The Shack. You can find his writings at Lifestream.org and his podcast at TheGodJourney.com. He resides in Newbury Park with Sara, his wife of 43 years where they enjoy their children and grandchildren.

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