The journey to starting a Learning Community is easy, and the rewards are enormous. I first joined the Learning Community team when I participated in the first Financial Peace University (FPU) back in Fall 2015. I remember one Sunday, as I was minding my own business, the infamous Diana saw me and wanted to hear my story. She listened to all the things I wanted to do, places I wanted to go, and things I had planned for my future. But didn't know where to start with my finances. She excitedly said, “Why not join FPU?!” I was thinking to myself, “I don't have time to join a club. I have a full time job and a full time load in school!” But something told me to say yes.
As Diana started to explain what FPU was, I became more and more interested. I joined the group, and little by little I started to get more and more involved. I craved more, and Diana saw my desire to help, so she asked if I wanted to join the planning team. I thought, “I'm not good enough. What do I have to offer?” But little did I know, God uses all talents if you are willing and able. I began to go to the FPU planning meetings once a week, and you know what? I loved it! I loved being a part of a team that cared for others, and I saw people's hearts grow and their hopes soar with the idea of being financially free. As we wrapped up our series in the new year of January 2016, I had the new hope of being financially free and the sense of being part of a team. I started to crave more of this community.
Then City Church had this great idea to spread the awesomeness gained from FPU to other parts of our community. What if we could use groups like this to be more involved with each other? And that is how Learning Communities were born - with the idea of sharing what you love the most with others. Just pick one thing you love to do, whether it be surfing, gardening, or playing in the dog park, and share that thing with others! I believe Learning Communities help us to form small connections with others that weren't there before. In creating a community, it turns into a safe place. It's a chance to be close with each other and to build new friendships without building up a wall when you first meet. Learning Communities offer something fun and exciting to do and a way to connect that wasn’t there before. The benefits of learning new things and meeting new people are worth so worthwhile.
Learning Communities are not hard to start either - just pick what you like to do or something you like to teach and pick a time and a place to meet. You can host them at your house, the beach, or the coffee shop down the street. The great thing about creating Learning Communities is you can meet anywhere, as long as you have an open heart and a willingness to be loved. I think this is the greatest of all is loving on others and being loved in return. That's what true Learning Communities are all about.