Can Grow Community
By Aimee Moiso
"A sower went out to sow
his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled
on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock;
and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell
among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some
fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold"
most of us learned in Sunday school, Jesus' parable of the sower
is not about gardening; it is about how the word of God is heard
and understood. It is about communication between humanity and
the Creator and that when we are able to hear God's word and
respond, good things grow.
"Some fell on
the path and was trampled on,
Likewise, when persons communicate well with one another, we
grow something wonderful: community and fellowship. Communication
provides an amazing connection through understanding and intimacy.
Or it can wither and break relationships. Though Jesus didn't
tell the parable of the sower to illustrate how we should relate,
the story provides a great metaphor for how to build community
through communication. Good, healthy communication yields community
growth, but lack of trust can choke relationships. While closed
communication withers our interconnectedness, communication that
is open, honest and vulnerable helps a sense of community to
and the birds of the air ate it up."
Community dissolves when voices are
trampled and rejected. People feel swallowed up like seeds eaten
by birds if they are not given a voice. If either the speaker
or the listener feels disregarded, communication is broken and
community is threatened.
In high school, I remember when a new student came to our student
council meeting, eager to volunteer, but she was shy and didn't
say much. Finally, she gathered her courage and suggested an
innovative and unusual idea for an upcoming dance. The meeting
screeched to a halt. Even if the other students had thought the
idea interesting, the new girl's idea was outside the norm and,
therefore, unwelcome. Someone said, "Um, that's not how
we do things here." The new girl's face fell and I never
saw her at another student government meeting.
Communication that is not inclusive breaks down community at
the root. Conversation enders like "This is the way it's
always been done" or "That would never work" set
a tone that leaves some voices-and some potentially great ideas-unheard.
Sometimes entire groups can be disregarded for one reason or
another: elderly churchgoers may underplay the needs of young
families and don't want to hear new ideas, or youth may think
the old folks are out of touch. Seeds are trampled or devoured
before they have a chance to grow.
Read more of this and other
great articles in the current issue of Horizons.
Call 800/ 524-2612 to subscribe or Order
Back to top | Next