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I am always hearing about how people do want deeper relationships. But my experience has been the opposite - people seem well satisfied with surface ones. Try to set a day/time with people and you'll see all of the excuses that come up. Sure, there are valid reasons sometimes. But if deep relationships were really needed, people wouldn't let anything stand in the way of those opportunities when they come up. They'd be desperate for the connection and would do anything to be there.

Do we really believe that we desperately need each other in this dark world? Do we even realize how hostile this world is to our faith? If we did, we'd treasure every second with another true follower of Christ.

My family is Christian in name only. When I was working I was mostly with unbelievers. The people I hang with online are not believers. Some are hostile to Christianity in general, though they seem to still enjoy my friendship. My entire life is spent pretty much away from followers of Christ.

Being with such people even for five minutes - even if it's in a group of strangers - is gold to me.


Mo, you're speaking to some challenging issues. I agree that often, we have many replacements to true community. Great fear exists in being vulnerable and honest about our lives. As soon as you add the idea that a relationship is centered around a common desire to follow Jesus, everyone feels an obligation to fake what they're failing at to avoid judgment. To me this proceeds from the inside out more than the outside in. In other words, I don't think its usually based on people's real responses to another's transparency but rather to my own insecurities about being vulnerable. Creating space for people to be vulnerable requires a leader being vulnerable. Maybe God has given you an awareness of what is lacking so that you can lead others by your own willingness to be vulnerable and honest in following Jesus.

And don't lose your connection with people who don't love or follow Jesus--its not an either or. Its a do this (real Christian community) so that you can do that (infuse and illuminate) with greater passion and love.

I appreciate your honest responses.

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