by Patrick Bradley: Planting a church is about building relationships, and many friendships start online these days. Here are 3 online ideas for connecting in your community.
So many of us are living in ever-growing metros and densely-populated areas, and yet we seem to have never felt so isolated and alone. Use all the tools at your disposal to meet people where they’re at and be good news in your community.
1. Community-Based Facebook Groups
Start exploring Facebook for local groups where you might be able to strike up a conversation or friendship. In my small suburb on the fringe of a big metro, there are groups for:
good neighbors of [name of town]
[name of town] 411
[name of town] neighborhood watch
[name of town] community discussion
[name of metro] beer enthusiasts club
[local river] fishing page
[name of town] moms and kids
…and too many more to list
Find interest or cause-based groups on Meetup.com to get together with people either online or in person. I found everything I could think of and then a bunch more:
outdoors & adventure
…again, too many to list
Do what you love and make friends along the way!
I’m surprised more of us haven’t heard of this one yet. NextDoor.com is billed as “the private social network for your neighborhood”. When you join, you get connected with other users within a certain distance of your address.
You have to verify your address and use your real name to lower the threat of trolls and stalkers. If you’re an early adopter in your neighborhood, they send actual snail mail invitations to your neighbors with an invitation code.
But this may create the opportunity to learn that one neighbor’s name & story, you know the one that rolls right into the garage when they get home and never provide a chance to bump into them? Those online introductions could turn into real-life neighborhood connections, block parties, whatever.
What are the ways you’ve made new friends starting online? Share a story or tool over on social media!: