Community is a word people use a lot. They are seeking community. We are tribal by nature and want to be among and belong. Sometimes we thrive in community and other times we are suppressed by it.
Many people I know have been hurt by a church community. They want to belong. Church's know this and some do what is called branding. Pretend the church is called Trendy. You will hear: "Good morning, Trendy and welcome to Trendy. We welcome you to Trendy and now give our Trendy campus a welcome."
This is branding. You also hear it in big box stores on the announcements. "Attention Wal-Store customers, we have specials in isle 8". Branding. The brand makes you a part of. Reward perks and social media on the store and small groups and social media on the church community. You are invited deeper.
Sometimes you belong and other times you only belong if you jump through the right hoops and are a good consumer of the goods as opposed to belonging solely because you are you.
This is not about church, this is about community.
I see people who get hurt by a community and the wounds are deep. So very deep.
They often, while still wounded, start their own communities. This is a dangerous time. It is like a rebound relationship. You know what community is NOT, and you want to belong, but you do not know what community is. You invite others into a space when you are not healthy and complete yet.
Community will enrich us and community will hurt us. We will hurt and be hurt. We will be enriched and we will enrich.
We are tribal creatures and often we are without a tribe.
Keep going, but try not to do any harm in the wake of the harm done to you.