Lest anyone think otherwise, we didn’t move to the perfect neighborhood (you know, the one with the manicured lawns and the fancy billboards) and find instant community. We moved intentionally to one of the three neighborhoods where our church has settled in. I’d say at least 80% of our church lives in 3 neighborhoods and the 3 or 4 other neighborhoods that connect them. We’re in the middle neighborhood. So, at least 80% of our church is less than 5 miles away.
I do have friends in the neighborhood who don’t go to our church. And I hope to make more! But our “instant community” was really community that has be percolating for quite some time. From the time our church was planted, those three neighborhoods have formed the nucleus. We organize community groups by neighborhood and other social functions, and elders serve each neighborhood as well. It’s an intentional community.
I can’t recommend this situation to you more highly. Whether your community is through church or a tribe of people with common interests, living together, in the same geographic area, really enriches relationships. You are more likely to bump into people. When you drive by their homes you think of them. It makes it very hard to be isolated. If your community is spread out hither and yon, pick someplace central and move in near *one* friend. One is better than none. Hope and pray that others follow.