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THIS JESUS LIFE PODCAST

You Need a Wolf Pack
Episode No. 11

We weren’t made to go through life alone! In this discussion, we focus on the current state of the community, overreaching expectations, and Jesus-centered ways to pursue building a healthy genuine community in a simple way.  We hope it helps you build a deeper community, or take your first crack at it!

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Transcription

Josh: Hello. Hello. Hello. We’re just two normal guys trying to live this Jesus life. My name’s Josh.

Andrew: Hey. Hey, my name’s Andrew and we are this Jesus life podcast.

Josh: Dude I’m doing well. How are you? Pretty good.

Andrew: Pretty good. Glad to be talking to you again. Gotta be honest. I don’t have much of an update at all on the chickens, but uh, I’m glad to be here with you, man.

Josh: Are your chickens not laying eggs yet?

Andrew: They could. Any day they’re like right there, which is, you know, I’m low level angry with them. Cause they’re still not. And I’m like, you’re full size. What are you doing? Like you have nothing else

Josh: to do. Layup. How many eggs do you expect a day? Dude,

Andrew: we could get a dozen a day, like when they’re really going, we could get a dozen a day.

So those birds need to start working, bro. Like, they’re just doing nothing for it.

Josh: Yeah. Fricking freeloaders man. Like, did they not know they need to pay their way to live in this house?

Andrew: Yeah. You’re not just living here for no reason.

Josh: You know? So this is, I think this is what you need to do. I think you need to go out tonight.

You need to line them all up, grab the weakest chicken, put it on the block and take its head off. So they know who’s in control. And not only that there’s expectations here. And if you don’t meet these expectations, it’s going to lead to your device

Andrew: from the fridge and I’ll set it.

Josh: Yeah. Yeah. And crack it

Andrew: crack know, and then murder one of the chickens at further.

Josh: Do you chickens? No, that’s what they do. Like they lay eggs. Or like the first time it was just like a huge surprise what’s happening.

Andrew: I think it’s totally surprised. They’re so dumb. And they’re just like, they’re very dumb birds. I don’t think they have any idea what their purpose is of

Josh: life. I always wonder that about my dog.

I just look at him like how much do you really know? Yeah. Cause

Andrew: sometimes dogs can seem really smart and then they freak out every day. At the same time when the mail gets delivered or like they hear thunder or anything. And it’s like, dude, this is not your first rodeo.

Josh: Yeah, dude, my dog doesn’t even need to hear thunder.

My dog just needs to see the clouds go dark and he’s freaking out for the next six hours.

Andrew: Did you ever get him a straight jacket? Like we talked to,

Josh: it didn’t work. I sent it back, but when he was not a fan of it, like not at all, he went with that thing off. Uh, maybe I did it too tight. I don’t know, but it also did not help his shaking and his anxiety.

Sure, dude, I think he’s just gonna have to live with it. He’s just going to have to be an anxious.

Andrew: That would be the most anxiety provoking thing in my world. If somebody just put me in a straight jacket, I would lose it.

Josh: Well, I put one on wisdom, like in, in like unison, like we put it on together and we’re just like, you were years old where mine.

And he just, he wasn’t having any of

it.

Andrew: Yeah. That’s fair.

Josh: That’s fair. No, no, no straight jackets for my dog anymore. Yeah. That’s just gonna have to man up, grow as balls back. Sorry. That was a toxic masculinity right there

Andrew: for the record. He did have them removed when he was young. So that’s a bad, that’s a bad start to your life.

You know, being neutered or spayed. No way. No.

Josh: Do you want to transition us?

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah. Let me just think of a quick natural transition between being neutered and spayed and community.

Josh: You know, it’s kind of like dogs in a pack, you know, they kind of traveled together and it’s one of the reasons your dog walks around and follows you all the time is cause like he’s deemed you the leader of his pack and it needs to be a part of this group.

And it’s kind of like this, we talk about community, right? Like we need this community, this pack we need to find what’s the, what’s the term from the hangover. Have you seen the hangover?

Andrew: A Wolf pack,

Josh: the Wolf pack, my Wolf pack. Right. That’s what we’re talking about today. We’re talking about helping you create your own Wolf pack.

If you don’t have a Wolf pack, how do you have a better Wolf pack? All those kinds of questions. Yeah.

Andrew: And if you haven’t been spayed or neutered, when you were six weeks old, like, uh, like most dogs then maybe you’ll have a better shot at it, you know? Um, sorry, dogs. Um, Yeah, big community men. Um, seriously though, like you gotta have a Wolf pack, you know, you can’t be a soul, a lone Wolf.

That’s that’s no good. You gotta have your packs. Um,

Josh: I don’t know, man. Well, let’s back up just for a second. And why, why are we talking about community? Like one, you hear community talked a lot about it in the church. So maybe that’s one question of why does the church talk about it a lot into why are we talking about it?

Well,

Andrew: I’d say, well, first of all, this was your kind of topic idea, but

Josh: I see how you pass the blame.

Andrew: But this is kind of the conclusion of the Jesus habits that we have been talking about community is the last one we have planned. I’m sure we’ll talk about more down the road, but, but it’s kind of one of those major Jesus habits of like, you shouldn’t try to make it through this world alone.

You shouldn’t try to just follow Jesus alone. It’s way too difficult. Let’s just be honest. Life is way too difficult to be, to do alone. Yeah. It doesn’t matter who you are. It’s too tough to do alone. So especially if you’re trying to live. In this Jesus life, which is counter-cultural in so many ways, you need people around you who have your back.

Um, and you need people around you who you love, not just people who like support you and everything is bad, but like you have people to laugh with people, to hang out with people for all the seasons of your life. You know, so community is like a cornerstone to that.

Josh: And it’s a cornerstone to our faith too.

Like I think there’s parts of our relationship with Jesus that you can’t experience. Unless you do community well, um, like I, I think in terms of conquering habitual sin in your life, I don’t know how you do that without community. Um, like that’s a biggie. Um, you know, I’m trying to think of some other ones off the top of my head, like.

Um, when you’re off track and you’re not listening to Jesus, like, um, you’re doing all the right things. You, you, I have selfish motives for whatever reason. That’s your, that’s your underlying kind of push forward. And your community’s the thing that refocuses you and kind of kicks you in the ass when you need to be kicked in the ass.

Okay. Yeah. That’s, that’s not Jesus. The direction you’re headed, like. You need to listen to this community.

Andrew: Even aside from that, like, I’m a big believer in asking people to help me out with stuff when they know how to do stuff. So having like a network of friends who can help me with things or teach me things, or even just to bounce ideas off of is like very, very valuable, like, dude, my boy, I told you a few weeks ago that my house, we almost burned it down and flooded it in the same day.

Well, I have a buddy who I called up who works in the water repair industry. And he like literally walked me through the phone, how to use the blowtorch and do all this crazy stuff. That’s not why I almost burned the house down unrelated, but like, that was a thing of being in community with somebody where I like.

Like, Oh, I can call him up. He can walk me through exactly how to repair this pipe or maybe he can come over if I need it. And it was like, it helped me, you know, I learned some skills through it and I saved some money on it and I didn’t have a leak anymore. So it’s like

Josh: killer and I think too, like, There’s different varying degrees of community too.

Right? Like I think oftentimes the church chases after one specific one for everybody, and then we say like, that’s my Wolf pack. Like, that’s all I’m going to care about. And that’s all like, and we create these barriers and these boundaries around that, that I don’t think is super healthy. Cause I think in all reality, like you just said, it was like, this is very into Greece.

Like I might not talk to these individuals every day. Um, but they’re still inside of my community at different degrees and we still do life together to some extent, um, and we can reach out to each other when they have expertise that I don’t have, or I have expertise that they don’t have, and we could talk through, uh, whatever they’re trying to accomplish.

But, uh, and I think that’s a big Beastie.

Andrew: Yeah. And it w Hey, let’s just pause. Like, that’s the not pause, but that’s like the inside the church that Christ following side of it. But dude, I think like our world is. I’m pretty positive. The United States is super hungry for community, at least for friendship, for trusting relationship.

And I think that’s expressed in like, I don’t have legitimate community, so I’m going to put everything on social media. I’m going to, I don’t know, like I’m, I just think. Dude, we need community more than ever right now. And, and the, or maybe we’ve always needed this bad, but people couldn’t express it so clearly, constantly everywhere all the time in a way that follows you forever.

Like, um, but we need community badly, man. We’re we’re not

Josh: made to do this alone. No. Yeah. I’m with you. And I think the issue is they don’t know how to do it. Like, I think that’s the issue. I should say it this way. They don’t know how to do it, or if they do know how to do it, they don’t want to put in the effort that it’s going to take to do it.

Right. It’s kind of like the other Jesus habits that we’ve talked about up to this point. Like there’s a level of sacrifice to practice these things, um, that that’s going to take. Like, that’s just the reality of it. And you know, when we start talking about community, we start talking about humility and unity and love and, um, all these, these different terminologies or categories that we can put some of these verses together in and.

We don’t want it to be difficult. So we look at it and say, well, like I should just be friends with the people. It’s really easy to be friends with. Well, sure. Like those are people that are easy to be friends with, but in all reality, like, is that really what Jesus was talking about or, or what the new Testament writers were talking about?

And they started talking about this idea of, of one another, or this idea of community, um, that, that we’re kind of diving into. Um, I just don’t think people will want to put in the time. Like, it’s so easy to like write people off of yeah. You know, we’re not going to be friends and I’m as guilty as anybody else, like tell me wrong.

I’m not, I’m not preaching at you. I’m preaching at myself in a lot of ways of like, I don’t do community super well. And God’s had me on this journey for the last six months of really trying to understand what community is and how to love people. Well, and all of those, those different aspects.

Andrew: And you know what, man, as I think about it, this is a pretty time, the only discussion I know different parts of the country are going through corn, Dean lockdown.

COVID-19 all that stuff in different phases. Like some people are kind of out of it or going back into it, lockdown down or isolation or whatever. And it’s just such a weird. Season that our whole country’s like, well, I sucked at hanging out with people, getting to know people in person already. And then I just went through four months of, I can’t be with people or maybe I can only do with a couple people, you know?

So it’s like maybe, maybe our community has just broken down even more in the last few months. So let’s say it’s good. We’re talking about this. Cause I think probably a lot of people who just start craving it right now, man.

Josh: Yeah. Yeah. Well, like I don’t, I don’t know often call myself an extrovert. Um, I’m probably somewhere on the line, but if I had to lean one way, I would lean towards extrovert.

Um, now in seasons of high stress, that’s not the case. I, you know, I take on the traits of a five and, and isolate myself. But, um, in healthy state, like I need to be around people like not being around people is hard. Like not being around my team, uh, face to face is difficult. Having to be over zoom meetings.

Um, that’s why we kind of break the rules and once a week we all get together. Um, and that’s how we tell we get around it. Um, but like there, there’s a piece of that, that like, um, I understand that not everybody is that way. Like some people generally need. You know, time away from people to kind of regenerate and this and that.

But what I have found is those that are extremely extroverted by their own admission or their own description, um, seemed to be a lot more engaged on. Video conferencing on zoom and Google Hangouts and those kinds of things. Then, then, like, I think the people that I know that I’m on calls with on a regular basis that would typically not engage to the level.

They, especially not in the group. Um, and oftentimes you’re wondering like, when is this person gonna shut up? Like, they’ve been talking the whole time, right? Like, so I say all this to say this, I think there’s this. Sure. I believe that. If people give you energy, you’re an extroverted people drain you.

You’re an introvert. You need time to kind of re fresh. But I think we take that to extremes oftentimes, or we take it to a level where it’s using or using it to. Self protect ourselves of you feel uncomfortable right now in this group setting. So I’m going to be in introvert. That’s what I’m going to tell people.

Cause it gives me an excuse, but in all reality, like those are the environments that you’re in that may be uncomfortable, that are extremely important for you to engage in. And one to build the skills of how to engage like. I get it. Small talk sucks. I hate small talk. Small talk is the absolute freaking worst.

I think it’s a waste

Andrew: King of smalltalk. Or you asked me to train you train. You asked me to train the rest of the group staff and how to do small talk. And I was like, I have no idea how to do that.

Josh: Finding common ground with people is just, I don’t know what it is. It’s awkward. I get it. I’m not a fan, but like meaningful conversation.

That’s really what we’re trying to get that here is like, we’re trying to help people build community in such a way. You can have a meaningful conversation with people and it doesn’t have to be thousand people. Um, it might just be a few people, but in all reality, if you’re a part of a church family, it’s hundreds, if not thousands of people, and you’ve got to figure out how to do life with hundreds and thousands of people and not just your two people that I’ve determined, these people, I trust 100%, I’m going to hold on to them and I’m never going to let them go.

They’re not going to appreciate that, but, uh, but that’s re that’s oftentimes how we approach these things, right? Like, it’s this weird dynamic of like, this is my small group and I’m going to be with them until the day we die.

Andrew: We’ve been the exact same small group for 31 years. And we’re not changing anytime

Josh: soon.

Are you serious? No one else is allowed into your group. It will change all the dynamics. Sure. But is that a bad thing? Like, come on, I understand your fear in that. It’s like, well, we have such good conversation. Do you though, let’s really talk about the kind of conversation you really have. Like I highly doubt it’s that good?

I know you portray it as it’s really good. It’s probably not. Is it really going to change that much? It’s going to change it. There’s no doubt about that. You bring someone new in your friend group, it’s going to change the dynamics, but is it going to be a selfish motive of no, it keep it as it always is, or are we going to embrace and learn how to bring this individual into our group in a healthy manner?

And we’re not saying like, bring them in and you know, just let them, you know, You know, destroy everything that you’ve built. Like that’s not the key. Like you have to protect what you value. Um, but at the same time you can protect what you value and help other people come alongside that. If they don’t want to, you know, value what you value as a collective, they’re going to walk away on their own.

No doubt about that. They’re going to try to change you, um, cause controlling personalities. Well, um, The ones that, that won’t try to control this, just walk away. You’ll just what happened to John. John says I never heard from John anymore. They just walked away. Uh, but the other person, as they’re going to try to change your values and you just hold to your guns, if these are our values, which means you have to define your values.

And I think that’s a big piece of culture or community too, is like, you’ve got to set your values. Like what do we value? What matters to us? Um, and then hold to those things and everything else has negotible.

Andrew: Well, so I’m thinking about some of the like community stuff where we got to know each other, not just you and me, but like you and me and many of the friends that we still have to this day and that if I still lived in Colorado, we’d still be hanging out with frequently.

Um, you still do, but you know, but I don’t, um, it’s on me, it’s on me. Um, but like, I think of like, When we first started kind of our community group, um, at our friend’s house, uh, right after Janet and I had moved out

Josh: or fake community group. That one. Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. We felt so guilty about it that

Josh: we not once.

Did I ever feel guilty about that group?

Andrew: I think, I think the leaders did, but it was like, it started as like we tried to do this Bible study thing and then it just didn’t happen.

Josh: No, it just started with biweekly dinners. Oh, you’re right. We had a friend of ours that would just, yeah, we had a friend that would cook for all of us.

And so we’d all show up. Cause she’s a great cook. Um, we, I know you, listen, I appreciate your, your cooking. That was appreciate that you, listen, we don’t say your name for the sake of entity, but, and then it kind of grew and grew. And this is probably where some of my, like, Unhealthiness towards community came in of like, my response is, why the hell are you inviting all these people?

Can we just keep it to my people? I get it.

Andrew: Like, it’s way more fun when it’s just the eight of us, you know, like don’t invite them.

Josh: This is, this is the house we were at when I called Jana bitch. And I got like torn apart for it.

Andrew: I wasn’t going to bring it up, but I did think about it. Yeah, it is.

Josh: I was required.

To be on staff at this last church to be in a life group. Let’s be honest. I don’t want to be in a life group for a variety of different reasons. One most lice groups are horribly, horribly ran and I only party. And second, I don’t want to be in charge of one either. Cause that just seems like more work.

So we created a fake life group. And that’s all it was for a long time. We’ve had a life group number, like it was legitimate to the higher, the higher powers, but it wasn’t legitimate,

Andrew: but here’s the thing. Um, I think it was, I think it was legitimate. That’s the thing is like, maybe that’s a good, like intro into the weirdness we put around what community means when we’re inside the church.

And let me be honest, let me just share this disclaimer, like. The church is trying hard to push people into community with one another, with other people in the church, with people outside the church. It’s just not easy. It’s not a simple formula.

Josh: Yeah, the problem, I think the biggest problem is community.

Even discipleship is so organic in nature, but you can’t scale things that are organic. So now your

Andrew: people need guidance. We all need somebody to push us to do something at many points in our lives. So that if that’s like, Hey, Josh and Andrew, you guys have a lot of friends at the church. You should start a life group where you, you know, um, what do we do for life group?

Oh, maybe you spend like 30 minutes talking about a chapter of scripture or six or eight verses or whatever, or you just talk about whatever the sermon was preached on. And then you pray for one another and maybe you share a snack or meal and then you call it good. You know, that’s an

Josh: hour. Let me ask you this.

And this is going to piss some people off, but I’m going to ask it anyways. Have you ever been in a group like that, a life group where you felt that you spiritually grew? So you grew in your trust intimacy with Jesus, not your Bible knowledge, but your application of Bible law now.

Andrew: I don’t know, man. I, if I’m being really honest, only when I’ve led that type of setting and youth group,

Josh: the eight inside of you gotta be in control

Andrew: bill.

It’s the, well, maybe, but it’s also like the responsibility side of me where it’s like, and let’s be honest. I wind up leading most things. I’m a part of

Josh: that’s funny. Cause I tried to do the opposite. Like, I don’t want to lead them if I don’t have to, but I know everybody wants me to, and I just don’t want it.

Andrew: I don’t necessarily want to lead them. It just happens organically where it’s like, they start asking me to do more and more things, but whenever I’ve led in youth group setting, um, it’s like, Over years, I would be teaching different lessons and different things. And I’m like, well, I can’t be teaching this from not trying to apply this to my life.

Not that I’m perfect at it, but so in that sense that I always felt challenged by that. And I think that’s one great reason to teach. Even if you don’t feel like you’re perfect at something, you know?

Josh: Well, like they say, that’s the easiest way to. Learn slash solidify. Your learning is to teach somebody else that like, that uses different parts of the brain.

Um, but

Andrew: you have you grown

Josh: through that? No, like I’ve been on multiple life groups, small group journey, group, whatever you want to call them. I’ve been a part of multiple different versions of them.

Andrew: Wolf packs.

Josh: I haven’t been a part of a Wolf pack that seems cooler. They probably have like those sweet, like graphic Wolf teas.

Um, I’m not cool enough to wear one, but, um, and I judge you when you do, but that’s, it’s beside the point. Um, I’ve been a lot of different groups and I’ll be honest. I’ve never been in the group where it helped me grow as a follower of Jesus. And I think it. It didn’t because of two things. There’s no real accountability inside of it.

Like I think groups more than three or four, you can hide unless you’re hyper intentional on dividing up the group and investing in those individual. Um, but you can hide, uh, to you typically say, you know, stay superficial level because you don’t have to actually talk about real things. Um, and three, because three is just a good number, a third reason they suck.

Uh, the food’s not good. Well, let me say it this way. You don’t actually do life together. That’s the third one you show up once a week and you have this Bible study for lack of a better term, but you don’t actually do life together. It’s the only time you talk to each other. It’s only time you see each other.

You like each other’s Facebook posts. Cause that’s just what you do. Um, but that’s. That’s really the lack. There’s no other community that’s happening there. Like I’m not, I don’t know your kids, you don’t know mine. I don’t have kids, but like that kind of video, those are the three issues.

Andrew: And that, that goes back to why I think that the, the fake life group we had was totally legitimate because we weren’t necessarily doing the programming of like, we got to follow the structure.

It was really just like, come as you are, we’re going to eat together. We’re going to laugh. We’re going to have a good meal. We’re going to. Understand what’s going on. Like we’d sometimes do like highs and lows or, or just two truths and a lie or something dumb. But we bonded through that stuff, you know, to where we actually were like, Hey, I actually feel comfortable talking to some of these people, maybe not the group of eight or 12 or 15 or whatever the number was, but I have a few people in here that I can be really honest with about my life.

You know,

Josh: like it’s a group that we’re still friends with today. Like that group of individuals, like we still do life with those same individuals today. Like, I think that’s a big piece of this and you know, we’ve spoken into each other’s lives at different times and through, through different ways, but like, there is definitely growth.

From that individual, as long as you’re willing to open up to the group, right? Like there’s still a piece of like, I can attend those things over and over. I can have a good time. It can be fun. But if I don’t really open up and share about my life and maybe it’s not with all of them, but it’s a couple of those endeavors, um, like that’s where we miss out on, on, you know, growth and you know, to not like, we’re not trying to.

Say the church sucks that that’s not the intention of what we’re trying to say, and they don’t suck it community. They do, but we’re not trying to say that in general. Um, The problem you run into is like a sing earlier. Like community is so organic in nature. Relationships are so organic in nature. There isn’t a cookie cutter way of doing it.

Um, and the same thing with discipleship there, isn’t a cookie cutter way of doing it necessarily. It’s, it’s hyper organic. Um, I’m just trying to, I hope you follow Jesus and you know, kinda like Paul said, follow me as I follow Christ. So hopefully you’ll fall Christ on your own. You don’t need me anymore.

Like, that’s the ultimate goal. But what happens in an organization like the churches? Well, we can’t scale that. Like there’s no way we can re reproduce that on a regular basis if it’s so organic in nature. Now, I think you can, if you really invest in your leaders and you invest in values rather than structured things.

Um, but in all reality, like it’s really hard to scale. So it’s not that it’s, the church is doing a bad thing. They’re doing the best they possibly can with what they know and understand.

Andrew: Yeah, that they possibly can with what they know and understand that’s solid. Yeah.

Josh: But like, there’s a piece to that that like, like how do you create a framework or guide rails or set of values that can kind of push these communities forward towards something without dictating them to such an extent that you kind of miss the magical spark that they have when they have it.

Right. Cause we’ve all been a part of groups of people where you’re like, man, that was. It was so good. And maybe you didn’t realize how good it wasn’t too, you know, you kind of left it and then look back. And you’re like, man, that was such a deep level of community and, and, you know, conversation and growth and all those different things that come along with, with healthy community and discipleship, um, in the church.

Um, but it’s harder. It’s hard to frame that in such a way that people are like, Oh, I could do that. Or you just need to launch a bunch of groups cause it’s the right thing to do. So you just find a bunch of facilitators of groups. Hey, all you need you to do is ask questions. Well, that’s. Nowhere in scripture, is that a thing like facilitators don’t exist?

Um, and I know it’s hard to find shepherds. I know it’s hard to find disciple makers, but that’s the reality of what you’re trying to, like. You’ve got to find that type of person or a person that has developed those skills of a maturity in their faith to have those skills. Um, oftentimes it’s just giving people the confidence and.

That they have those skills. Like I said, a conversation a few weeks ago with a guy, um, that does discipleship without even realizing he’s doing discipleship. He doesn’t really know what he’s doing, necessarily. His kind of key phrases. I just show up. Like, that’s just my thing. I just show up. And when I show up, like things just happen.

Um, and that’s reality. Like, that’s, that’s like, that’s like a big step of it. I was like, if you just show up, like things are gonna happen and you keep showing up. Um, but we can take this to another level.

Andrew: That’s downplaying it though, because just being there, just committing the time to whether it’s a weekly dinner at your house or somebody else’s house or a monthly dinner.

Or whatever, or you’re showing up for a meal with, with people you’re trying to mentor disciple once a week, once a month, whatever it is like just showing up is, is huge. You know, or just being the person to say, Hey, here’s an opportunity for you guys to show up. Like, everybody can come over next Thursday for a barbecue, you know, and then we can do it again a month later or whatever.

Here’s a chance to show up, like that’s big and that’s not a small deal.

Josh: Oh, that’s good. Yeah. And like, now that I’m on the other side, like I’m not currently in paid church work. It’s interesting. Cause like you’d have all these things in your head of like, this is what a life of your best to have. That’d be consistent, know I’m meeting every week and I don’t really do life together.

Um, which is yes and no. That’s true. Not true. Yeah. You should be seeing each other or talking to each other at least weekly, but you don’t need to actually have an official meeting. Um, like, I always think of those groups I’ve met every other week and you’re like, you’re not even real Christians. Like what kind of fricking life group are you running?

Uh, things like that. I didn’t say those things out loud. I kept to myself cause I knew I was probably wrong, but there’s that piece of like, there can be more flexibility with things. Once a month, gatherings are great. They serve a purpose. They’re important. And to connect people together and you know, one of the things we always try to kind of.

Kickoff and instill in leaders and we just never really were effective at doing it. One of our primary responsibilities as leaders is to help. Understand who somebody is and help them get connected to someone similar, right? Like that’s how communities to get formed. Now, you know, want to get like into the nitty gritty of someone similar, like differences are great inside of relationships.

It makes things interesting and fun. If you’re all exactly the same person, then it’s not interesting or funny, you get bored and you moved on. But

Andrew: yeah. You both have braces and freckles in this slight list. So you should

Josh: hang out here together. No, but like, you should be like, who are you? Who are you? Like, what makes you, you?

And do you know, like, do you know? So-and-so like, those are always the things that we try to like instill in people like, Hey, your job here is just to help other people get connected. So this is how we do it, but it’s so exp like, It feels so exposing to be that person to like, have to get to know somebody that’s like, I don’t want to be here anyways.

I don’t know. There’s just so many things on this topic that gets my mind running. But like, I just think of so many conversations I’ve had with people over the years as a pastor in different environments. And the conversation oftentimes leads with people too. I have no community here. I have no friends.

Like I come to Sunday morning, I sit down, I leave and nobody’s friendly enough to me now. I think part of that’s expectation, like no joke. I had a conversation with one kid, one guy once. Um, and I said, well, like, what does that look like for you, for you? Like what says in your head I’m a part of this community and there’s just sponsors.

I will walk into a room and people yell my name and you’re just like, what. Well, uh, to tell you, that’s just never going to happen, uh, for a couple of different reasons. Let me really often, let me be really honest with you. You don’t have the personality for it. Um, But like, but oftentimes that’s part of the issue too, is like we have this mentality inside of our heads of what we think it should be, right?

Like community should be fun. It should be exciting. We should go on adventures together or a community should be deep and we should have raw, uh, you know, tear filled conversations on a daily basis. Like you have all these like, crazy like notions. They’re like communication never challenged me. They should only love me and not judge me.

You’re like, well, you don’t grow with no, one’s going to speak into your life truth. I’m sorry. But like, there’s all these different notions of like, what are they chasing? And I think those are the things that kind of have to be kind of pushed down and demolished. I know we didn’t plan for any of this going into unclaimed space.

We’ll have to figure out, but, um, that, and then the other side of it is like, it’s always your fault. Right. Like, there’s no personal responsibility in my, in this world. It’s all your fault. Like your not creating the environments, the space for, for me to feel comfortable enough that I can be in your community and sure other things are doing that.

It probably. Not helpful to that. Absolutely. But do you have any control over that? Absolutely not. So control. You can control and that’s yourself, right?

Andrew: Yeah. In all of us, you can control yourself and, and that’s, I dunno, part of it is like Paul talks about it where he’s like, Hey, I forget where he talks about a new Testament, but he’s like, You guys are still drinking milk, like babies, and you should be eating whole food at this point.

Like you don’t need to, uh, P taking bottles as adults, you know, but that’s what you’re doing basically. Like you’re not even trying to go to the next level of, of depth. And I don’t know, man, like part of that is just. And I know I’m taking that way out of context, but thinking of community, it’s like, you gotta be willing to make yourself be in a slightly uncomfortable position where you don’t know everybody in the room.

Well, or you’re never going to get to know everybody in the room. Well, you know, like you’ve gotta be willing to be like, I’m going to a barbecue where I know two people and it’s. Going to be a little uncomfortable, but I’m gonna go, you know, like I’m going to try, um, you let me willing to just take the first step and then give it a shot.

And let’s be real. If you go to a barbecue with 10 people there, you’re probably going to want to be friends, friends with a couple of the people. You know, like deeper, like real friends, probably not going to immediately click with everybody in the room and be like, these are the best people in the world I’ve ever met.

And I love them all. Like, they’re my community now. Like your back is a, probably a smaller group than that, and it can grow over time, but you’ve got to. Try. You can’t expect to just walk into a building. That’s a church and have it be this magical, like welcome to our abode. This is our commune where everybody loves everybody in your best friend.

What can we do to serve you? It’s like, that’s, it’s filled with people now, so it’s not perfect so

Josh: well, and like, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Like you walk into a place and they’re that welcoming, but the reality is that’s not like them being welcoming isn’t relationship. Like, that’s just the start of relationship.

Um, it’s the same thing we were talking about with going to parties and like, I don’t think we should be on the lookout of who my next best friend is going to be. Like, I remember having conversation with a girl, um, years ago and she made a comment of like, I’m going to be that person’s friend. Look, that is one of the craziest things that I’ve ever heard.

What, I don’t even know what that means. You’re going to be that you’re like, you barely even know that person. I don’t even know how to unpack this or where to start. There’s so much unhealthy on that statement, but like we’re all on the look like, Oh, I got to find my next best friend. Or I got to find that deep rooted community inside of my church that I could be a part of.

Yeah. That’s the ultimate goal that you find those people, but like, Take it easy whole things with your hands, with your fist, open wide, like hold things loosely. You’ll find this things you keep pursuing down these roads and this, we kind of talk about these different one another verses here in a second, like you’ll, you’ll find these things.

You’ll find those deep relationships, like at no point, Andrew, no offense to you. You’re a great dude, but did I think to myself, I’m going to be Andrew’s best friend. Like he’s going to be my dude. No, that’s freaking weird. Uh, it is so weird. Yeah. Over time, you spend time together and you find connections like that.

That’s how things were

Andrew: for the record. I mean, when I first saw you, I’m like, that’s going to be one of my dudes. He’s going to be my friend. Right.

Josh: And then most people, when they first see me go, like I said,

Andrew: no, dude, I, I never thought that to myself. But, uh, but I’m glad that you were one of my really good,

Josh: not until your wife came home and said my boss.

Andrew: Yeah, she probably did. She was, she was a fan of you. But, yeah, man, it’s, it’s weird and you’re right. We shouldn’t just back to your point of, we shouldn’t always be looking for who’s my next best friend. That’s very unhealthy and weird in my point of view. Um, and like we’re still putting roots down in Pennsylvania.

Well,

Josh: it’s not going to work. Like that’s the reality of it. Like you can name someone you’re going to be, that’s gonna be your best friend, but I promise you, you’re going to show them so much attention that they’re going to run for the Hills. Cause you freak

Andrew: a hundred percent and it’s, it’s just like, it takes time, you know, like we, we got great community when we were in Colorado.

Cause we moved out there knowing nobody, we kinda had that huge need. But dude, for the first year there were a lot of times where Janet and I both felt lonely just like crap. Like we really need people, but. But we didn’t want to be the weird people that were like, you know, knocking down people’s doors to hang out with them.

But we were like, we really need new people and we’d just come out in four years of college together where we had all these deep friendships, you know, then we left Colorado and it was like reality. We were there for seven and a half years. No six and a half years anyway. Um, were there a long time and awesome roots.

And then we’re like, now we’re making this change, but, um, but we’re still like rebuilding. We’re trying to see like, okay, what is our community here now? You know, like we have. Some that’s just kind of inherited, you know, like family that live here, but it’s like, all right, we need just our friends too. And that, that takes time.

It’s not a, it’s not an overnight thing, but it takes intentionality and time. So we’re trying to invite people in trying to host things, go to things we’re invited to all of that. Because we got to identify who God wants to have in our life as community, but it can’t happen overnight. Um, and just because you move, you shouldn’t like cut off all relationships.

Just as a side note, we did not do that.

Josh: She was like, he did like, I don’t even think I was on Facebook earlier today. And when I Facebook friends, so I don’t know what happened with that, but

Andrew: that was you, man. You unfriended me if so.

Josh: Sorry, unity, man.

Andrew: Speaking of not even be Facebook friends, how do we be unified?

Josh: Yeah. Before we jumped into that, um, I think, you know your hints into it there of like, you’ve got to take some initiation on this. So like, you want to be friends with people, start inviting people over, like, I’m assuming you have a kitchen table. It might be a small kitchen table, but you have one invite people over for a barbecue, you know, it’s July right now.

It’s a great time to barbecue. Most people aren’t going to say no to a barbecue.

Andrew: Especially if it’s outside and COVID is weird, you can be like, Hey, we’ll stay at least six feet apart. No need to hug. It’s all good. We’re just going to grill some food.

Josh: Yeah. Just open up and it might feel really exposed. I get it.

That’s terrifying to somebody. Yeah. Um, but also that’s how tough friendships are born. And that’s how, you know, friendships are born, that, that changes into Christian community. And that evolves into, you know, people that are truly going to hold you accountable and encourage you and challenge you and push you towards being more like Jesus.

Yeah.

Andrew: And if you are a competitive person, might I suggest, uh, getting a set of spike ball or slam if you want to save a couple bucks and

Josh: you have, which is 100%. Yes.

Andrew: But the spike ball slam out there. Awesome, great outdoor game that it gets insanely competitive and exclusive pretty quickly. Cause nobody wants to play with the person who’s only played one time or never.

Josh: Isn’t that? Sure though. It’s so true. If you’ve ever played with me and it was your first time playing, I don’t hide my emotion. Well, So I apologize if I seem to really irritated because I was, but it wasn’t you, it was just unfortunately, spike ball, like is only really fun when you play with people at similar skill levels.

Um, when you’re really below or really high, then it’s not fun. That was fun.

Andrew: That’s right.

Josh: That’s right. Like balls, a lot of them. All right. So the kind of. Let’s bring this back to kind of Jesus’s model of community, um, as we’ve kind of gone on these circles, but so the term one another appears a hundred times in the new Testament.

A lot of them by Paul himself. And then others throughout the gospels and through other new Testament writers. But, um, one another matters seems to matter a lot to the early church. Um, yeah, all these one another versus we can kind of split into three to four and categories. And I think you are, I guess, four different categories technically, but really the big, big ideas, unity.

Um, this idea of love and this idea of humility. And then you have like these other verses, like, you know, don’t judge one another, um, or put stumbling blocks and always greet each other with a Holy kiss, which I think is. Yeah. Like, and it’s not a Holy kiss unless the tongue is involved. So, you know, I understand not super PC for, for us in the United States, but like, if you really want to follow Jesus, like tongue to cheek would be normal, uh, face cheek, not the other cheek.

Cause. It’s weird, really fast, I think is like speak truth to one another. Don’t lie to each other. No, that probably speaks to unity to some extent, um, you know, encourage,

Andrew: can I just say the next one you had was comfort one another during the reservoir concerning the resurrection. And I know that’s about the resurrection and like the end is near all of that.

But dude let’s be real. We could just apply that to like comfort one, another daring COVID-19 comfort. One another during, I don’t know the wrong guy got elected or the we’re going to war again or all this stuff. There’s like so much anxiety all the time that you need people who can just comfort you when you’re freaking out, whether it’s merited or not.

About whatever’s going on today. Cause there’s always stuff to be anxious about. My wife just sent me a text screenshot, uh, her news feed and circled, um, circled that squirrels in Colorado are now carrying horrible disease. And she was like, have UTF know what is this?

Josh: Yeah. Uh, there, uh, the black plague.

They’re carrying a black boy.

Andrew: It’s like, we need comfort during the red surrender.

Josh: This is the first case of it. This is a normal happening in, in, in nature. A very like, you know, covert didn’t kill us. The riots didn’t kill us. The freaking, uh, Killer bumblebees. Didn’t kill us a murder. So now it’s going to be the squirrels, the black plague.

Uh, I, we have a mutual friend. Uh, I don’t know if you saw recently on her Instagram, but she posted a picture of her to squirrel. What she didn’t get into the details of is. That scroll is her friend and there’s multiple ones of them. And she talks to them and she feeds them in the hangout together on a regular

Andrew: basis.

Dude, one of the day, these days, one of those squirrels is going to just like. Grab her and be like, you got the black light now and she’s going to need comfort.

Josh: I should send her that article and just like, Hey, uh, just trying to help you out here. Um, I don’t know if you’ve read this recently, but like, this is the thing.

Uh,

Andrew: but seriously. Yeah, that’s what, that’s one of the, one, another,

Josh: this idea of unity, this idea of love and this idea of humility. Um, and a third of these verses, you know, live inside of this unity verse of, you know, uh, be at peace with one another or don’t grumble among one another. Be the same mind, um, with one another, accept one another, wait for one another before, um, the beginning of communion.

Um, but it’s this idea and I think even hinted on it earlier, it’s this idea of one another of like, we should be the organization and the place. Um, the people that opened then openly welcome people in to our arms, um, and fight for like, this isn’t necessarily unity, but I think it’s on the same lines of unity, um, and fight for people.

Um, we want to open arms and except people into, to our community. We shouldn’t be a community that’s, that’s closed off for a community that, um, says, yeah, you, we, we can’t hurt what we already have, so we can’t let you in. I think we miss. I think we miss a big piece of that and you never know what’s going to come with that.

Like you never know the relationships, the friendships, um, you never know the skill sets that people are going to have that enter into that community. Um, and, and I think that’s a big thing, big piece of what we we do and who we should be known as is, um, this whole idea of, of unity, but.

Andrew: Yeah. And can we just pause like unity, um, when Jesus prayed need for future believers, he prayed that, that we would be unified together like that, that we would be one as he and the father were one.

Because what he prayed for unity for

Josh: which is a crazy type of thing.

Andrew: And that’s like, yeah, think of your dad and you, um, or think of like a more perfect bond of father and child. It’s crazy,

Josh: but have you not met my dad and me? Like I say, we’re pretty damn close,

Andrew: but no, I just mean, but the reality is there’s a lot of, like, it’s not easy to just.

Have open arms to being unified and have open arms to a bunch of people coming into your community because, because let’s be real, it’s, it’s kinda tough. It’s like, you know, I want to have my, um, my close friends, which I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having your, your close friends. You’re kind of.

Acquaintances or moderate friends and then like the wider group, like I think that’s totally fine and Jesus modeled that. But, um, but it’s still takes a lot of effort to be open to it. The new people, joining that group, new people, leaving it, leaving it, new people, joining all of that. It takes a, a posture of like, I’m always willing to try, um, to be open to new community.

And then the unified unity side is like, I’m not going to be quick to judge them like you were talking about earlier. I’m not going to be quick to label a person is just like, I don’t want to be around them or they, or their views are wrong or whatever, you know, to label them. It’s like to really try at unity is not easy, I guess.

Cause there’s a lot of things in life that can just unify us that that are meant to just unify us. So. I don’t know, I’m rambling on a little bit, but yeah, it’s not easy.

Josh: No. And I think you see this, you see this inside of, uh, of the new, the new Testament church in the early church, as they’re kind of finding their way through all of this and the church is being established.

Um, but I think a big piece of it is you’ve got to define your non-negotiables. Um, so like here’s our non negotiables. Um, we’re not going to gossip about one another. Um, we’re going to care for one another, uh, to a point of sacrificial care of one another. Like, I can’t truly love you if I’m not willing to sacrifice for you.

Uh, and the list can go on and on, but hopefully not too long that people remember them all, but like, I think you have to define your non-negotiables and then everything else is negotiable. Meaning, I don’t have to agree with you on this. As long as we agree on what’s important, and this is what’s important for our community to have unity, to move in the same direction, um, to have care for one another.

And other people feel like they’re, they’re being cared for. Um, and then we hold onto it, those values. Cause the reality is those things are true in any fan in any friend group. Right. Like you have values now they’re unstated values probably 98% of the time, but you have certain values. And when people don’t fit in those values, you start to watch the group kind of rear up.

They don’t know what to do with it. Um, now if your value is you have to be hip and cool, um, that, which is a true value of a lot of friend groups and you don’t meet that. Like Rebecca in middle school, like, like, but that’s the reality like that that group has determined. This is a value of ours and you don’t meet our values, so you can’t get through the threshold.

Right. But it’s the same, it’s the same thing. True with, with Christian communities, you have to have to find values. Now I don’t recommend you have to be hip and clean. I do recommend they should be attractive. Like that should be a big one for your Christian community. Just kidding. Um, but like you should have these values and they should be defined values.

Like, Hey, our fund group believes this to be true, whatever this happens to be, um, to be a part of our friend group, you’re going to have to believe this to be true, or at least function that you believe this to be true. You can not think it’s true. That’s fine. But you’re going to abide by it, right?

Andrew: Yeah.

And it can be simple stuff. Like we like to have fun together. We like to eat good food together. We like to try to follow Jesus together, but it doesn’t have to be this crazy Apostle’s creed of like, here are the 30 things that we believe. It could, if you want to be real simple, you could just borrow from, from our script.

That is kind of this, uh, all these verses that that are about one another and the cornerstones, like you mentioned our unity of

Josh: now I’m going to have to post this this summer.

Andrew: No, no, you don’t have to, but like unity, love and humility. Just search for like new Testament verses about. Well about humility about unity.

Josh: 100 of them let us know when you find a hundred of them. If you don’t find a hundred that’s right.

Andrew: You’re bad at, at search in Google,

Josh: I think through different Christian communities have been a part of, and you know, this speaks to unity and it all speaks to love. But really unity is like this level of gossip that exists inside of the church.

And I’ll all label gossip. Is this any conversation, either good or bad about somebody that’s not in the room? Gossip now I see either good or bad because like they could be having a baby. Well, it’s not your information to share with, with that group that they’re, that’s their good news. Let them share that good news.

Um, or, you know, husband just had an affair on, on wife or vice versa. Bad news, not your place to share that information, or it could even be hidden inside of prayer requests, which us church folk love to do. Right. I have a prayer request for Jenny. Um, now don’t let this leave the group guys. Let’s just pray for her.

But Jenny has been doing the herb Derbs again. And the cocaines right. That’s not helpful to anybody. You’re not genuinely trying to help Jenny. I’m like, that’s not your intention. And even if you are generally trying to help, Jenny, you’ve picked a horrible fricking environment to share that with other, not in the room.

Like if I haven’t told that person. What I’m about to say to this other person that I have to keep my mouth shut. Um, now it’s super easy to fall into this, especially if the culture surrounds it, I’m like, well, will the voucher consume one another? Um, just take off each other’s heads, any chance that we get, you know, Galatians five 15, right?

Don’t bite devour consume one another. Um, but we do it so quickly in the disguise of godliness. Right. Like, that’s where it gets super bad. It’s already bad, but now we’re taking it to a whole nother level because we’re bringing Jesus into the equation. I just say this all the time. Like don’t put words in Jesus’s mouth, right?

Like don’t say things. Jesus, ain’t saying, um, Be very careful about saying, God told me this about you. You better be damn right. That God told you that about him before you go and drop something.

Andrew: I know that I’m not trying to skip further down, but humility is one of the things we’re going to talk about.

And I think part of humility is being willing to say like, yeah, I didn’t live up to the values. I shouldn’t have, I didn’t live up to the principles. I’m trying to followers as a Christ follower. I didn’t live up today to just being generally good human. Uh, here’s how you know, so like, yeah, so like that rule and gossip you gave, that’s a great, that’s great.

Like, don’t say it if they’re not in the room and then, you know, For it’s a cliche, but check your heart as to why you’re saying it. What’s your motivation in saying that, you know, Judy’s doing herb again? Is it good? Is it bad? Does it in the cocaine, the cocaine, does it need to be sent? Is it not? But then the humility in that is like, if you tell them a whole group of people, something you shouldn’t have told to them and you get that like kind of convicting

Josh: moment of like, Oh crap, I shouldn’t

Andrew: have done that.

Um, then just stop and say guys, that was stupid of me. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. I somehow my pride had me feeling like, I should say that about Jenny and her cocaines and herb terms. I shouldn’t have.

Josh: It’s weird to keep bringing it up, even though you’re apologizing,

Andrew: but I’m just trying to bring it one cogent example, but you know, it’s like, it takes humility to work through this stuff and you gotta be part of that is willing to be able to say, like I screwed up, I didn’t live up to the values.

We’re trying to live up to. Sorry guys, and saying it in the room, saying it with the group, you know, we’re going to the people, you said it too, and letting them know

Josh: huge, but like, we don’t apologize. Well, in the church either, like we brushed it on the rug, like it doesn’t exist or we justify our actions and then apologize.

Like that’s, that’s our typical emo. Um, neither of those are real apologies. Folks. Apologies. Just take ownership. But yeah, I think that’s, that’s huge. Like that level of humility to be able to say, Oh, managers. Early F that up. Um, like what second to tell you to your friend group. Like the, the example that you just set for them, because you were courageous enough to own your mistake in the moment and apologize for it.

Now here’s the shitty part of that is now you’ve got to go to the person you were talking about and apologize to them as well. Whew. That’s a hard one. Cause now you’re like, I’m going to cause pain and then I’m gonna cause pain again. I’m going to tell them something that if we just went and they just never found out about it, life would be good.

But in our reality, that’s creating a division between us and them and I do it enough and that division becomes great. Like I’ve got them in the fence, I gotta fix it. And I gotta apologize.

Andrew: Right. That’s a good point, man. And that is, that does suck, but you’re absolutely right. And that’s part of love. You can’t like you can’t do any of this stuff without a genuine care for one another.

Like, um, Or at least an attempt at it, like I’m going to choose to try to love you. Well, because you’re in my life and it could be because you’re number one in my Wolf pack, or it could just be because like, You’re in my house or you’re in my group, you know, I’m going to try to love you.

Josh: Or you happened to cross my path,

Andrew: crossed my path or, yeah, you’re, you’re serving me coffee.

So I’m going to try to treat you as a human, who has, has dignity and God’s sites be kind to you and I’m going to acknowledge you and thank you for, for handing me the cup of coffee, you know, or whatever it is, man. Like. We should do the walk around trend exhibit these things as like our guiding principles in life is I’m going to try to love people.

Well, I’m gonna try to live in humility. I’m going to try to be a unifier, not a divider. Like these are tall orders. I think, um, Just before this started you and I were talking politics. And it’s like, when you’re talking about things that, you know, dude, even just say the word politics and people are like, yeah, don’t even bring that up.

Like, if you want to have a good Thanksgiving, don’t bring that up around the table. Don’t bring up politics and religion. It’s like, there’s just whole topics in our lives that are like, don’t even mention it. Or you’re going to dis unify the group and have a horrible holiday.

Josh: Well, in like. Conflict is not disunity.

Um, as long as it’s healthy conflict, like if I’m just dropping a bomb and I’m like, whatever, I almost said something that would totally get me in trouble. And as a couple of the

Andrew: eights on the Enneagram, we do like conflict. So we’ve got, gotta be careful about our motivations and what the heck is this conflict for?

Josh: Yeah. I also love to drop the bomb in the middle of the group and see what happens with it. Um, no problem with that at all. Um, but like, To not have healthy conflict to knock, talk through things where we disagree on them. I’m like, that’s not creating unity either to act like we just don’t talk about this.

Things like that. That’s unhealthy to, to the advancement of what we’re trying to build it anyways, in terms of a community of followers of Jesus. I’m like, you’ve got to have conflict, but this goes back to like, know what you value and then whatever, anything else that’s outside of those values is debatable.

So we can disagree on something. And as long as we’re both culture cordial, as long as we’re both willing to listen, as long as you’re both willing to control our tempers and our emotions and just have a conversation like that’s great. That’s awesome. But it’s when things get out of hand so quickly, right?

Like I can be at a family too. And I know the things I can say that would set certain individuals off and then. Like, it’s just going to blow up. Well, like that’s not helpful. I may disagree with their belief or their view or on whatever happens to be, but I’m not trying to create discourse in that moment.

Like, I’m not, we’re not trying to talk this out or I’m, I’m just trying to fight. Right. And there’s times I say this pretty regularly, like I’m just in a weird space where I just want to fight. Like, that’s how I feel. So I’m going to pick a fight with somebody. Um, just because, uh, unfortunately typically that’s like, The closest people to you cause they’re safe to fight with.

Cause they’re not going to leave you. Um, and others it’s like, you know, someone I never met and it’s, you know, I’m going to support call and I’m just pissed off and frustrated this point. So I’m just gonna let some poor guy have it that has no control over the situation. Right. Gotta be able to control those things.

Like it goes back to, you know, even, and humility, like I’ve got to control my emotions. Um, and so often the thing that destroys unity isn’t necessarily good, healthy conflict. It’s destructive conflict out of anger. I’m pissed off and angry. And oftentimes you get pissed off and angry because you never dealt with the issues.

That happened months, years ago. Um, and you held onto a middle Bondo and they’ve just built and festered and gotten bigger and bigger. And now I’m just going to take it out on you. And we’re about to, um, but like as, as we see throughout the new Testament, um, human anger is not righteous hanger and that’s an important piece to all this, but.

Yeah, but other parts of unity is like, we bear one another’s burdens. Like we confess sins to one another. Um, like we seek good for one another. Um, like these are all things in there twined. Like I do those out of unity, but I also do them out of love and I can’t do them if I don’t have humility, like we can kind of intermingle them all.

We just put them in categories for the sake of it. Um, but one thing that I felt like God told me over the last, it was probably like six months ago. And really just trying to understand it is like, I truly can’t love you if I’m not willing to sacrifice for you. Um, you know, it’s the verses that say like, You know, even your enemies love their children.

Like even the evil love their children. Like what good is it of you to love your children? Like good job. You hit the bare minimum. It’s a higher level. And it’s the example that Jesus gave. Yes. Right? Like that level of sacrifice for, for, to love those around him. And in jesus’ case to love all humanity, to give them a way out of their bondage of sin.

Um, but yeah, like I truly can’t love you. If I’m not willing to sacrifice for you I’m and sacrifice can look a lot of different things. It could be big sacrifice. It could be little sacrifices. I could be sitting in a team meeting with individuals that oftentimes drain me, um, because they’re just those types of individuals.

We don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things. And you’re just like, Oh my gosh, you just want to die. I’m like, I’m so frustrated right now. Um, but the responses I’m going to sacrifice in this moment, I’m going to give you my attention. Not gonna fake it. I’m generally going to listen. I don’t want to at all, but this is what I’m going to do.

Right? Like, um, if you haven’t read the book, love does by Bob golfer. Um, love always. And he has a new book. I just bought it. Just started it. I don’t remember it was dream something. Um, but, uh, one of the statements he says in there, and he’s kind of my example of like, how do you love people? Well, I want to love, but love like Bob Goff loves.

Um, there’s a level of acceptance in, um, intrigue, even of like, I just want to understand you and get to know you, like, that’s the piece of like, I wish I was more like that. Um, but one of the statements he says, you don’t have to love people forever skull on for the next 30 seconds. Can you just learn for the next 30 seconds?

Um, and he’s, you know, he’s telling stories of witchdoctors like mutilating children, and these are the individuals that God is saying here. There’s your enemy right in front of you. Now you’re going to do what I say or not. Are you going to love him or not? Now he tells this story or that he chooses to love this guy that he thinks is pure evil.

For 30 seconds at a time. And this guy eventually gives us life to Jesus, which pisses him off. Understandably so, because now this guys bounce off and yet he’s an evil, horrible person, but it goes back to what you said earlier. We want to put labels on people. You’re never going to come out of this label because you’ve come to us labels going to screw up my view of reality.

Um, but that’s the reality. Like that’s, that’s the piece of it is like, can I just love you? For the next 30 seconds and maybe it seems stupid and mundane you’re like, Josh, you just not, you just have more patience with that person. I should probably when I’m just gonna love the, for the next 20 say, or they are pure evil individuals.

And you’re just saying actually I love them for the next 30 seconds. Good.

Andrew: Just getting practical. Okay. So I have one thought that was pretty practical, which is just. Loving people. Well, in the next 30 seconds, I think often just looks like listening to whatever they’re actually staying and not planning your response or thinking about something totally unrelated, but just being in the moment and actually listening.

That’s a simple, simple way to actually love people. Well, I think that goes back to kind of what we’re, we’re talking about in social media of like, people are lonely and they just put their whole lives on Instagram or Facebook, or they put the parts of their lives on there that are like the things that they probably don’t want to put out, but that they know will get a lot of likes or hearts or DMS or whatever it is.

You know, they’ll get a lot of traction on because it’s like, well, this is what everybody wants to see about me. So I’m going to put more and more of it out there. Um, And I’m horrible at social media. So that’s not a huge driver in my life. Yeah. Like

Josh: I don’t know how helpful social media is to our world.

Andrew: I dunno if it is

Josh: like I get, if you want to create a following, you know, for the sake of income, for the sake of influence, for the sake of whatever, it’s a great way to do it. Um, but I don’t know if that’s a good way to do it. Like sure. It’s effective in getting those things, but I’m not sure it’s actually helpful.

Andrew: There’s probably a lot of good things about it. Like people probably have found very legitimate community through social media. It’s just, there’s so many negative things. It’s really easy to look at it and be like, this should all go there.

Josh: It’s like this whole thing of like, yes, it gives us a greater reach of our community in terms of like people I’m connected to.

I can see what people from high school though. I think only fall like. Five or six people from high school, not a lot. Um, but like, I’m actually, I have to do life with them at all. We never have to have conversation. I could feel like I’m close to you, but in all reality, I’m, I’m not close to you at all. And I think this is the downside of social media is like, You can read all my posts and like them all.

And you’re like, man, Josh and I, like, I get that guy. I’m like, we’re such good friends, but in all reality, like we haven’t talked in years. You think we’re friends, like that’s weird to me

Andrew: and it’s filtered through what does, what does Josh want me and all of his other superficial, not superficial, but all of his other friends that are the wide group, but he’s okay with seeing whatever.

What does he want me to see? You know, that’s like the driving factor. But

Josh: I don’t know if you get on my Facebook page, you’ll know that I don’t want you to see anything. Cause I don’t know. The last one I posted Facebook.

Andrew: Yeah. I just Facebook as well when I post things from Instagram and then I get on there every now and again, I really like a marketplace on Facebook, so I’ll get on there and be like, Oh crap, like 10 people come landed on that thing a week or two weeks or three weeks ago.

And it just never acknowledged it. So I’m sorry if you comment on where things on Facebook, I’m not

Josh: going, like, do you have to

Andrew: yeah. I don’t know.

Josh: Do they have to, like, do you have to recognize that the comment on them, or like, just let them comment all they want? Like who CA like it, but like, this is where that offense comes into play, right?

Like now we’re now we’re at odds with each other because you didn’t like my post or you didn’t comment back. You replied to my comment and you’re like, At what point did we end up in this weird world of,

Andrew: well, that’s the thing that should be,

Josh: yeah. This is the norm. How about you send me a text message or how about we legitimately communicate face to face, like call me up, set, you know, send me a text, say, Hey, let’s hang out this week.

I’m probably more than open to sitting down. Especially if you want to buy me a meal, like you want to get me. You want to sit down with me? Like, just like, Hey Josh, can I buy you lunch this weekend? But yeah, 100%. Nope. Well, if

Andrew: the whole conversation was centered around, why have you not been replying to my comments?

It’s probably going to be weird bill. Okay. I had one other thought I wanted to tell you, and it’s maybe a little bit wider, but about these principles of like unity, love and humility. As we were talking, I was thinking about like how these are some of just the bedrocks of. What it means to kind of start a relationship with Jesus, like to come to a place where you hear the Holy spirit speaking or not on you or whatever the right word is.

Um, and saying like either, Hey, I want to start a relationship with you or you need to repent of this thing and I want to help you through it or whatever it is. Like, I think a huge piece of that is the humility to be like, I’m open to knowing that that’s true. I’m open to knowing that I need help, or I really, I recognize that I need a savior.

You know, I, I’m not cutting it on my own. My effort isn’t getting me far enough. That alone is like, that starts humility. And then like, I think there’s a beautiful, I’m gonna have unity and saying, we all follow Jesus together because it’s like, sure. There’s a million things that are different about your life in my life.

And. Our backgrounds and our political beliefs are whatever. There’s a million things that separate us. But man, if we’re willing to say like, I want to follow Jesus for real and make that the top priority of my life, trying to try to make that the guiding principle of, of. I’m trying to follow Jesus. I’m trying to look like a disciple of him.

Um, then there’s unity in that because I can meet you and get to know you and that’s your principal too. And out of all this stuff, like we can have so much. And because of that, you know, and believe to the point of like we’re brothers, sisters in Christ, you know, where we’re truly unified. In a way deeper way than the physical sense.

It’s like, we’re, we’re in the same family, you know, and then like, love, you know, the idea of like, you’re recognizing that Christ died, not just for like somebody, but for you, you know, like he did that out of love for you. Um, I just feel like these are all bedrock principles of even just the start of a relationship or the start of a deeper relationship with Jesus that.

They all just line up really well, you know, like there’s some of the core things of what a jesus’ life is even about my point of view.

Josh: Well, and that’s like going back to the beginning of this episode, you know, we talked about there’s things inside of the, your faith and your relationship with Jesus.

They’ll never experience until, um, You’ve lived inside of community to experience these things, right? Like I’m never going to really understand the humility or the posture humility of that should have. And so I started doing relationship with people and because it’s going to take humility. Because I’m going to screw up, I’m going to cause harm.

And I have to apologize for those things. Um, or I have to expose myself and show that level of humility in terms of, Hey, this is where I’m at, or this is what I’m struggling with, or there’s a variety of different ways that it manifests itself. Um, but like, without those things, without that, like I’m never going to grow in my humanity with God.

Right. Like, cause I didn’t really experience it from a emotional and experiential level, um, to be able to internalize it so I can replicate it back with my religion with God. Like, like you’re saying like same thing with love and same thing with, with unity, like, you know, unity with Jesus, like in my unifying, my beliefs, my viewpoints, how I do this life with the way that Jesus won, uh, Um, set that example for me, but also commanded me to live with it.

Um, like that’s that piece too, like it’s, it’s both and like, Living in community is going to help grow your relationship with Jesus and your relationship with Jesus is going to help deepen your community. Um, and as we kind of mature in this world, like we get better and better at these things. Um, does it come easy?

It doesn’t come simply. Um, but if you’re looking for, you know, deep, meaningful relationships, Like, this is how we get there. We, we fight for you and we fight for what matters and we leave everything else out and we fight for, for love and sacrifice for one another in a posture of humility, always when humility means I could be wrong.

I’m right. And when we do these things, like relationships start to form, like, that’s just what’s going to happen. But if I just want to get to the end, that kind of microwave mentality.

Andrew: Microwave mentality. I like that phrase, like the, a, the 32nd popcorn pop,

Josh: a young relationship by young thug. Uh, just started playing in my pocket.

Andrew: That’s hilarious.

Josh: What a weird, I don’t even have a secret turned on on my phone.

The weird thing is, is like, uh, we work at my coworker’s house once a week and every time I go in there, I say, Hey, Alexa, uh, sorry. If I just turn on your Alexa, you’re listening to this out loud. Hey, Amazon person, um, play, play gangster rap. She starts rocking some gangster rap for us. I wonder if that’s like.

Part of it. That’s so weird. So weird. Um, I don’t know where we’re going with all that, but in reality, is, is those two relationships, your community? So don’t Oh, the microwave mentality. Don’t jump into like, don’t think that like, you’re going to have this deep, meaningful relationship and heartbeat because deep, meaningful relationships, what they develop over time.

They don’t happen in a moment’s notice like your relationship with your wife as a newlywed is completely different from a level of interest means trust faithfulness, then you are a 50 plus years, right? Like, there’s that, there’s a thing it’s like a great line, right? Like it, or a great bourbon. Over time, this age.

And like you get to pull out the, the, the, the beauty of, uh, of the relationship. Like that’s how good healthy relationship happens. This is gonna take time. Um, don’t necessarily go in pursuing it, pursue community, pursue friendships relationships, and over time, if you value the same values and you talk about those values in terms of Jesus and, um, You’ve living this life for him and this jesus’ life, uh, like those things are gonna start to come out and you start to have those conversations, like yes, from a life group, small group perspective, I’ve never been in a group where I thought it was helpful to my walk with Jesus, but I’ve been in plenty of relationships and plenty of friendships and plenty of groups of three guys or groups of smaller people where.

I grew leaps and bounds in my understanding, my trust, my love for Jesus and for those around me. And because of those people and them speaking into my life, right? Like that, that’s what true community there. It looks like. Can we get to the root of that? Um, so these are the types of things that were constantly happening.

And I think it’s organic. I don’t think, unfortunately we can put a, like, if you do these six steps, you’re going to have great community. I wish it was that easy. Um, I think there’s values that you can say have these six values. But those values develop over time and those values aren’t truly lived out until you’ve lived in for, for time.

And I’m like, it’s all a piece of it. Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. And that’s. That’s good and bad, right? Cause there’s no simple framework, but, but if you try to agree on values or set your values, if you don’t have community right now, try to set what your values are, try to make them reasonable and things that line up with what Jesus was about and go from there and just, and try, you know, just show up, just invite people over, just.

Try, you know, like I, I’ll just one of my kind of closing closing thought from me is that, um, I’m always shocked at how many people show up when I just invite people over for a meal or for a game night or anything just simple. I’m always surprised that, you know, 80% showed up, you know, invited six people and 90% showed up whatever the numbers are like.

It’s always more than I think it will be. And I don’t think that’s because I’m like this really cool person. I’m not that cool. Um, but I think people are just wanting an invitation. So if you’re a leader, if you’re a natural leader of people just invite

Josh: people over or not even invite people over.

Andrew: Just invite people in, just say like, I have this little backyard, I have this grill.

I have this board game that I love to play. I

Josh: have this shoe. I used to have a coal grill in a tiny backyard. And you invited 50 people over.

Andrew: Yeah. We’d have parties there all the time. Dude. It was tiny backyard. We have 30 people back there. You know, small space, but we made it work and it’s just like, people are hungry for an invite.

They’re hungry for a chance to develop community. Yeah. Just invite him in. Just try, like it’s I don’t know. I think. In my experience, God always provides the right people and it does take time. But, but if you’re willing to try, if you’re willing to show up and fight it and invite people in, you’re going to figure out who that community and be in your life and it’s going to be nothing but good for you.

And for them, everybody needs community. We need both packs.

Josh: Yeah. This will be my guess, Andrew. Like when you started inviting people, you didn’t really have any. Limitations necessarily on who you’re inviting, who you were, you started inviting people. You’re like, here’s the people we know. Or I think like here’s a group of people.

I think my, like this group of people, I’m just gonna bring them all together and see what happens. Um, right. Like, but so often we start to like put all this list together in her head and like, well, I need this kind of person and I need this kind of person and Oh, I can’t invite so. And so, because they’re going to come in and just dominate a room, like, just be open about it.

Invite whoever, let the group. You figure it out the group.

Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. And if you shop at Costco or Sam’s club or one of those places that we pretty much all shop at now

Josh: with

Andrew: five 15, just me out with a mask on to buy a 15 pack of bratwurst and force yourself to invite people over being like I’m not eating 15 broths in the next week.

So. I’m just going to say, Hey guys, you want to come up for it? Cause I bought a ton of prep.

Josh: You did that once you won Chipola and you invite a bunch of people over to eat the AAA

Andrew: $250 catering party for Chipola. That was like up to 30 people, I think. And I invited like 15 and we all gorged ourselves. It was awesome.

That was the best. That was a good part

Josh: of more of those parties. We could have more of those parties, but you moved on. Yeah.

Andrew: Yes I did. I did. But anyway, man, that’s my closing thoughts is just try. People are like desperate for community and you’re going to be surprised by how many people show up. They’re not all going to be your best friends

Josh: and you may be surprised of who your friends are.

Like. You know, I have friends today that at one point I could not stand. Angie, you were not one of them just to get that out there, but there’s plenty. Like there’s people that I was like that I was like, I cannot, I cannot do any more time with this individual. Like this individual rubs me, frustrates me everything about them.

I do not like, and yet we’re great friends today. It just. Give it a shot. See what happens? Yeah.

Andrew: Just to call back, go check it out.

Josh: Was the last episode. Sorry, give it a shot. Don’t don’t give it a shot. Cause that was a different episode.

Andrew: That’s kind of, that’s all I got. It’s a few minutes after 10, my time.

Like, do you have any just killer closing thoughts? I mean, give it a shot was a good episode. So you should check that out too. If you haven’t and you’re listening to this right.

Josh: You should check that out and you should check out our next episode. It’s going to be amazing and fantastic. And, uh, and words of our president, uh, amazing.

Um, but we won’t tell you what it is not because. Um, we’re trying to build anticipation, but because find out with us, well, we just don’t know what it is. Yeah.

Just, and I don’t think we’ve actually hammered out while we’re talking about next week, but Hey, thank you guys so much for listening. If you haven’t subscribed to us or rated us on whatever platform you’re listening on, it’s always a huge help to help us out in that way, gets the word out. Um, our viewership is growing.

Uh, which is fantastic. We do thank you. Uh, even if you’re not sharing it, um, you think you should share it because that would help us out. Um, but Hey, we’re growing nonetheless and we do appreciate that. Um, but yeah. Thank you so much for listening. Hey, we love you guys. We are praying for you guys. Hey, Andrew has always.

It’s good to see you. My friend.

Andrew: Good to see you. My friend is doing it.

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