7 Ways to Rebuild Community after COVID
- Emma Danzey Contributing Writer
- 2021 12 Jul
We have all experienced separation and disconnectedness to some degree over the past year and half. Some people naturally jumped back into friendships and activities, but for others it has been more of a challenge. Today, I would like to share seven practical ways in which we can rebuild community after COVID.
God did not intend for us to do life alone. In the beginning, He saw that Adam was the only man and said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18). The Creator emphasized the importance of fellowshipping with others. “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).
Here are seven tips to start rebuilding community in this new season.
1. Check in on People You Have Lost Touch with
A simple text or phone call can go a long way. Is there anyone who you stopped doing life with during COVID? Reach out to them. You never know what people were going through in the pandemic. Everyone had different comfort levels and health precautions. Instead of allowing differences to forever divide you, be the initiator. Show your friend that you are still there and would love to meet up. Then, make actual plans to see one another.
2. Ask about Others’ Experiences
If we are so self-focused on what happened to us during 2020, we miss out on showing compassion towards others. Whether it is your neighbor, friend, co-worker, or someone else, try not to ignore the fact that we all went through a traumatic time. Ask what other people’s experiences were like, how they dealt with the isolation, and if they learned of anything good that came out of the hardship. Gaining understanding provides a deeper level of trust.
3. Try a New Activity
Maybe you have had friends move or just want to make new connections. Try a new activity. Put yourself in a place that gives you the opportunity to meet new people. Maybe you have had relationships that fell apart or changed significantly and you are desiring to find a new community. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there and try something you’ve never done before. Take an art class, join a tennis team, or be involved in a club. Brainstorm about what might interest you and where you could meet others.
4. Join a Bible Study
One of the best places to get deep relationships is in groups that study God’s Word together. Join a Bible study at your church or within your city. This is a place of fellowship and can honestly provide great healing after a time of pandemic. Whether it be eight weeks or all year, devoting time each week to study the Bible with others is always a great idea. This also improves the discipline of getting into the scriptures each day on your own. People get to know one another at a more in-depth level in these settings. Vulnerability can be scary, but it is worth it.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/FatCamera
5. Reach Out to the Unreached
Consider those who may have lost a lot of their friends because of the virus. No matter what age you are, it is a beautiful gift to show someone else love and give them your time. Is there someone who is elderly, sick, or grieving who you can connect with now? Think about people who may have had to be very isolated or lost loved ones last year and did not have the same support. You can visit them, play games, tell stories, and encourage them in unique ways that shows them that they are seen.
Never underestimate the effectiveness of prayer. Do you need friends? Are you feeling alone? Talk to God about it. He is our ultimate best friend and He is with us always. He understands everything that we go through. There have been times in my life when I have specifically prayed for the Lord to send me community or a friend. He always answered those prayers. It may take time, but continue to pour your heart out to God. He knows your needs and He knows your desires. Then, when you see community unfold, you can glorify Him all the more.
7. Go Back to Church
I know you are hearing this from every pastor in the world, but it is true. We were made to do life as the body of Christ. Virtual church is sufficient when needed and there is no shame to those for health or viable reasons to be apart from the church. However, getting back to a regular weekly attendance in person is vital to our spiritual growth and connection with others. I remember being back in a room with many people worshiping again. The gift of freely praising God in a country that allows it is a privilege enough. However, the joy of glorifying the Lord as His Bride and being reminded of our commissioning is important. When we return, we remember that great gift to honor God in this way and the blessing of being a part of something greater than ourselves with others.
These are just a few ways to rebuild community after COVID. I am sure that there are many other great ideas. If you have a thought, try it out and see how you can grow in friendships again. The word rebuild in Webster’s Dictionary means, “To restore to a previous state” or “to build again.” It is ok to realized that something has been broken or lost in this virus. It is realistic to understand that your community will not be back to the way it was overnight. To restore and build again takes time. This is a process that if we undergo with bravery and joyful anticipation, we can see the work of God. He is the One who brings light out of the darkness.
Related Resource: Listen to our FREE podcast, Reframed: The Power of Perspective. In each episode, Carley provides practical techniques for identifying and reframing negative thinking patterns. Listen to an episode below, and check out all of our episodes on LifeAudio.com.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Alessandro Biascioli
Emma Danzey’s mission in life is to inspire young women to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. Emma is a North Carolina resident and green tea enthusiast! She is married to her husband Drew and they serve international college students. She enjoys singing, dancing, trying new recipes, and watching home makeover shows. During her ministry career, Emma recorded two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, ran the Refined Magazine, and served in music education for early childhood. Currently, she is in the editing stages of her first two writing projects: a Bible study on womanhood and a non-fiction book on singleness. You can visit her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com