March 2, 2022
How can we be weavers in our communities and bring everyone together as one in Christ?
In February 2019, David Brooks wrote an editorial in The New York Times in which he named social isolation as the underlying problem to many of the United States’ challenges. He announced that he had started a project called Weave to address this problem. Weave brings Weavers—people who are building community at the local level—together on a digital platform to learn from and encourage one another.
Last week I had an interesting conversation with a leader from Weave in which he said that, as he talks to Weavers across the country, he is surprised to discover that many of them are motivated by their faith. I assured him that was my story too, since as Jesus followers we are called to love our neighbors in incarnational ways (see Luke 10:1-12).
Recent research from Weave has shown that Weavers build community in different ways. It made me wonder if this could be a helpful way to invite Christians to consider their role in loving their neighbors. We all have different personalities, skills, and resources, so building relationships with our neighbors will look different for all of us. Seeing yourself in one of these weaving types may inspire you to think of new ways to put neighborly love into action. Which one are you?
Healers work to support communities that have been harmed or marginalized. They seek to help their communities heal and thrive by offering services, support, connection, and advocacy.
Missional practice idea: Do you have relationships with a number of individuals who struggle with the same issue, maybe something you also have experience with? Invite them to come together for coffee to listen to one another’s stories. As they share, listen for where the Spirit is at work among you.
Disruptors aim to free their communities from discrimination, oppression, or unfair treatment. They challenge systems and norms that have hurt their communities.
Missional practice idea: Is there an area of injustice that you are particularly passionate about? Find a local organization that is addressing this issue and ask how you can be involved. Use this as an opportunity to develop relationships, care for and pray for people who are directly affected by this issue.
Growers want to strengthen the sense of belonging and common purpose in their communities. They foster healthy relationships, create a sense of pride, and pursue projects that make their communities stronger and better.
Missional practice idea: Take a walk through your neighborhood. What do you see that could be impaired or improved? Invite your neighbors to a Saturday Service Day to work together to address it. As you do, be open to where the Spirit may be calling you to go deeper in relationships.
Seekers find personal meaning and growth in building loving relationships with others. They work to forge a network of deep connections in their communities that are mutually nurturing.
Missional practice idea: Invite your neighbors to an Easter Saturday coffee/tea. Allow the focus to be more about the coming together than a perfect presentation so that you can help them connect with their neighbors. Listen well, and try to find one thing about each neighbor that you will pray for in the coming weeks.
Occupational weavers do their weaving as part of their jobs. They invest in organizations, businesses and local institutions that serve the needs of people and the community.
Missional practice idea: Ask your church to pray for your work, and specifically the ways that God is using your organization to bless the community. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel through word and deed.
At the end of my conversation with the Weavers leader, he asked me a poignant question: If the work of Weaving is motivated by your Christian faith, then why doesn’t he see all Christians living into this work? Maybe the categories above will help us all be the Weavers in our community, bringing us together with one another and with Christ.
Amy Schenkel is Resonate’s Regional Mission Leader for the Great Lakes Region