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Jennie Allen: Find your People

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
August 7, 2022 10:00 pm

Jennie Allen: Find your People

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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August 7, 2022 10:00 pm

In a “connected” world, do you feel more disconnected than ever? Author Jennie Allen knows the sweeping power of isolation. She’ll help you find your people.

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So I will never forget standing in the front of the church.

Officiating your sister's funeral that I was standing in front look into the backseat by doing remember this moment you remember what happened but I see the back door. The church open and in walks what seven couples of our best friends from Detroit to watch those friends walking and I still get emotional about it because it meant everything like they are here.

There something about having a friend. Be there with you in your darkest time.

That means so much because you feel like you can't even stand up on your own. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most kind and Wilson Dave Wilson and you can find this@familylifetoday.com or on our family life. This is family life today. We are made for community where talk about that today with Janell and she just came into Orlando, Florida, she's been on family life today, but Jenny were welcome back. Thanks a happy guy who grew up in Little Rock yet so used to go on family life in your hometown there's a file differently in Orlando itself.

I mean, it's a beautiful campus and I'm such a fan of crew and set it's so great to be here with you guys today, but Jenny it's fun because for 35 years I worked with Detroit Lions wife, so their wives or girlfriends coming in to Detroit of all places, and they were depressed coming to try so many times, but we've done several of your books. And the thing that I love about you is how you take us closer to Jesus.

But here's what the women say, and I think a lot of women say that she's just like me. She's gone through what I have gone through, but she has a focus on Jesus, it's Through so much and so that's what I feel like you have discipled so many women over the years, and that's meant so much to me and so much to all of us. Well, it doesn't go very far and left their women like you leaving in their places and in helping people get these resources I'm so grateful I feel like where it were teammates that I so great yeah a little son is a literary agent. He's our agent and so he has books all over his house.

You know and I we are out there couple years ago and I pickup I see your book. Get out of your head and I honestly I got to pick it up, like all is a book for women you know she's a woman's writer zero for women I start reading this thing.

It was awesome thing I me. I was so impressed with Janell and is the author setting you get your head to well yeah, everybody does for women are things that everybody yeah I've noticed that more and more. There's definitely a lot more men reading my material on site, I try to be thoughtful of that as I go for it. Certainly the beginning that wasn't in my mind but yeah the issues we face are similar yeah, and honestly especially lately.

We are universally going through similar things. There is something that is just human about all of us and the struggles were having right now. Tell us about your family I love love my family there. The highlight of my life is my ministry were to crumble to the ground and God's will that I would be fine with it because I want to be a great-grandmother soon and I wanted to just be with them all the time.

My husband is not clear.

Now they love. After many hard years of marriage and doing a lot of counseling sleep.

We are madly in love and having just the best years of our marriage right now and so grateful for what you're married to a former quarterback to be one another one so we fantastic, and he's in multiple businesses.

He runs companies and sells ranches and also helps raise money for companies that's what he does. It's hard to sum that up and then my kids are to our finishing at A&M right now. One is 2120 and the 20-year-old is found love with an older guy, and they're getting married soon as I'm heading in that season and then my younger to us about a middle school or and a lessee 16-year-old that's software say life is not boring you started the conference yet for those of our listeners that don't know what that is, but this is a dream to bring women together and to hopefully just further discipleship was the goal. And so we rather than bringing women into stadiums. We brought them into their homes and we we made on the conference that usually sells out very quickly made it available to everyone, and they hosted in our churches in their homes and set this past March we had we had every year the first week of March.

I think there were 4/4500 events happening around the world. We usually reach 244 countries is so beautiful because it crosses nomination crosses just I think all different types of lines that existing culture and for today's just women across the world come together and learn about Jesus and read the word together and hopefully change and grow together that will talk about together in your latest book. Find your people building deep community in a lonely world where does this come from what's behind it. You know what's crazy is the timing of this book is seems very you know brilliant person because yeah we will be coming out of pandemic. I actually this is a five year I go project that I knew I wanted to do you know which is cool because it was it was is forecasted for this moment prior to the pandemic. Now that I know I look back and I was in Uganda and I was visiting there and doing some work and storytelling, and with the ministry and I was driving past it was actually a moment.

First was driving past these two women that were beautiful and they will add buckets on their head and they were walking down to get their water for the day and they were having a ball together. They were laughing and cutting up.

Then I end up in one of the villages which have done many times. I just started noticing the rhythms of their lives and how communal they were and I was jealous and I was bothered more than anything, I just I thought this is really heat up. My son is from one of my youngest son and so we go to his country a lot friends. A lot of people from Wanda and one of the pastors there actually tell me when he said Jenny I feel sorry for you. All you know we are living in each other's lives, day in day out like you all. I come here and it's so lonely and so isolated and so I began to just be curious as we just stuck in this individualistic culture called America and specifically all over the West really you see a very hyper I can pull myself up by my bootstraps. I can make it happen.

If someone does were so proud of them. Like that was amazing there that he rallied so I just saw this twisted backwards culture of what were supporting what we what were even encouraging our kids to do and is that what bothered you. I sat yeah I just I wanted something different.

I wanted us to live more like the people of Uganda and Rwanda and so not begin a journey where I actually interviewed people from all over the world. I researched the history of civilization as well as what the Bible has to say about it and found a lot of troubling things that what was that like when you have research our history in America. What was troubling you know is the loneliest generation that has ever lived on earth and nobody's arguing 20% of the world no longer lives in village like communities that began with the Industrial Revolution, when you look prior to that hundred percent of people mean unless you just literally were alone somewhere which would survive long lived in a village type existence that was anywhere range from anywhere from 50 to hundred and 50 people, then there would be a new village that broke off because it would need a school and they would need different resources, so this is how people lived throughout all time. Ironically, the research done in our generation is fascinating because it absolutely matches that mentality that 150 people is our capacity to be able to keep up with the know what's happening in their lives to know some of you have cancer to care about in uptake in a casserole or something. Yeah, that's about what we have the capacity to care about and then if you move on down the circles of people you got the capacity for 3 to 5 close friends that know your daily Internet life and then you have the capacity for little bit more to be in and out of your life on a weekly basis.

Up so you look at the research and it all supports what has been true of humanity for all time and yet we find ourselves.

Many of us and places where we live in a neighborhood where we have fences and we don't even know our neighbors. We live in a world where we go and commute to work and our work friends are our home friends in our church friends are our neighbor friends and and it's all divided into the silos and were very isolated and we we kind of wonder what's broken because we haven't known another way, what I wanted to do was really tell the story of another way. This is how humanity has always loved it has been fruitful and helpful, and they've prospered in these villages that cannot be my reality. At the same time working on this project. I moved to Metroplex. I moved to Dallas Texas so we figured out there, but I was thinking about all these things and one thing that took us to Dallas was we had family there and so we really started to make choices based on people rather than cool cities or jobs or whether reason people tend to move these days. I wanted to choose family and it was closer to my family and we were in town with this so would you find we do with the Scripture same thing. Well, the first and you and every project as I pull every Scripture out of the Bible on this subject, so we began with mountains of Scripture is usually on a topic and of course I mean, I went to Sunday I got a theological framework. Before I begin anything on any subject, but I start and it was because when we put it all is much as I thought and then I had to step back and think theologically about it go away. Know the whole book is written about people, about families, two groups of people and the whole story and when I began to theologically see that grid which is how I wrote the Bible study just the theological art of community throughout Scripture. There really is no verse that's written outside of the context of community. It was all written to people groups in the Old Testament you see it written to Israel. You see it written to nations nations. At that point work was a lot smaller and and groups of people and then you see in the New Testament to the local churches many letters written to local churches. So when I began to view it like that. There really wasn't any of the Bible. It wasn't about it and so that's why it took a really theological high-level picture you look at Genesis will start their you see a communal guy who even uses the plural in those Scriptures of creation. He says let us create man in our image, he reveals his Trinitarian foreman that moment, God, you know, in case anyone doesn't know using big words that that God is three and God is one father-son Holy Spirit. So he reveals his Trinitarian foreman Genesis. He's creating in the first man. It is good for man to be alone that we always talk about it. I'm sure on this show especially in the context of marriage is never good men and women mankind.

We are communal beings.

And it says that we were created in his image.

He's revealing his Trinitarian form so you know that he is a communal God and his very presence. In essence, he is communal so therefore when he builds a man in his image he builds him communal.

It's not something that we crave is something that we feel sad when were missing it. It's part of who we ought my friend that's a Christian and a psychiatrist and neural researcher. He says we come into the world looking for someone looking for us and we never stop looking for the infant is born looking for someone looking for and we all see that in a babies eyes you can see it from birth that they're looking for someone looking for then I think it's important for people to realize that theologically, that we are communal because I think otherwise will try to stop a supper club on it or Bible study and think that's enough yet. We were really meant to live day and day out with what is that look like for you that David and Wilson with Jenny Allen on family life today will hear her response in just a minute. In such a connected world can feel isolating right will you do about Jenny Allen was on a mission to search for that same answer and wrote all her insights in a new book called find your people and when you give today at family life will send you a copy of Jenny's book as our thanks your gift helps others pursue the relationships that matter most. You can give online@familylifetoa.com or by calling 803 586-329-1800 FS and family L as in life and in the work today. Right now, back to Dave and Anne's conversation with Jenny Allen living in community looks like for her family in a large city like Dallas change shifts when we moved to Dallas and this was value and I was thinking about these things. We began by moving somewhere we could see our family where we were. Blocks away at work last week. I stopped by my mother-in-law's house to see her when she planted that that you know we wanted to be somewhere we could run into our friends and neighbors and then I began to pray for five friends within 5 miles and I really believed that I was to build my own little village and what's cool is we are small group has been together five years of very committed to each other were doing life in a very transparent way. We are helping each other raise our kids, all of our kids know each other and are great friends was the perfect small group was at the end all be all small group we did know, but they were approximate to us and we know we we knew we would be raising our kids together and so I begin to make choices where proximity was of value. I began to make choices.

Where would we know that the hardest when I had to make was just to be more vulnerable as a leader and someone it's that and public I hard thing to choose to do and so I just had to risk and I've been hurt before I was going to say as a woman I've had to so many women as you have to say oh I'm I'm not doing like women. I mean you know girls are mean new/organized But I'm Saying That Women Will Start with That. I Don't Have Any Friends Because Women Are Mean and I Didn't Burn and so I'm Not Can It Be There. So for You to Go Back There and Say God to Pray for Five Friends within 5 Miles. Women Are Probably Thinking That.

Pray That I Haven't Found It a Year Walking through with Us. Like How That Happened. One Thing I Did in the Book Was. I Held Everybody's Hand Because I Had Gotten 8 Million Messages about How Hard This Is for People You Held Her Hand and I Told Him Exactly What to Do Unlike This Is How You Make a Friend I Give Them Language That Some People Are Just like These Are the Hardest Project I've Ever Had Because of That Vulnerability Pieces Because It Awkward to Make Friends. People Have the Friends but They Haven't Gone Deep with a Friend. My Vision for the but It's Not Just for Someone It's Lonely. It's for People to Have Friends and Maybe There Is Deep and Connected As They Wish They Were and I Don't Know You like They Know You Surface Staff.

They Know about Your Kids in the Schools That They Don't Know Your Fears. They Don't Know Your Vulnerabilities and That's What You're Saying to Find Those Friends That Will Go Deep with You. All of Us Have Been Hurt in the Subject Was so Difficult to Write about Because We've All Heard People and We've All Been Hurt. If You've Ever Been Close Anyway Yeah and so People Are the Best Parts of Life and People Are the Hardest Parts of Life, and so in Some Ways It's a Cute Little Yellow Find Cover in Other Ways You You Know This Is a Tender Thing and We Had to Fight for It, and It's Not Easy Because the Me, Satan Right Us to Be Friends and so Will Do Anything to Divide Us to Yes We Got a Cultural Issue That I've Artie Mentioned, We've Got a Relational Issue We Been Hurt and Then There of Course the Biggest Thing Is There's an Enemy That Hates That If We Were Made in God's Image to Live Communally and If We Ever Experience That in the Form That the Bible Calls Us to Then Yes, He Wants to Destroy It and so There Was a Whole Part of the Book about Just Not Quitting People Get Tired Because Our Enemy Is in Flesh and Blood Ephesians As It Says That with Battling Dark Cosmic Forces You A Lot but Opening and so It Helped Me Have Perspective That We Are at War and the Tensions We Face in That War Are Going to Want to and Try to Destroy Our Relationship Apart, Exactly, Were Seen at Every so How Did You Find the Title Binder People on the I Know What I'm When We Do to Detroit Years Ago Knew Nobody Going There to Be the Lines Chaplain and Then We Start a Church, but I Knew That This Is 30+ Years Ago. I Knew Guys I Got Have Guys so It's Sort of Funny.

I Found a Couple Groups I Got in One and I Thought Okay These Are My My Guys Certified Too Many Guys You Know but I'm in This Group Member. One Day Come in and There You Probably Vulnerable As the Guys I Go Sure Some Are Struggled with the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Just Go Say That Here's the Reaction I Can't Believe I Go They Just Look at the World and I Said Yeah. None of You Guys. I'm Missing You Struggled This Week.

Have Any of You Ever so Never One Time That Is Such a Lie. I Sorry I All I Know Is I Walked out the Rooms Again. Okay There Probably Not Been Truthful or Zeros That I Thought These Are My People, and I Found Them yet, and I'm Celebrated Now Them Was Your Struggle. I'm Sorry Love That You Said That Because Grace Is a Great Example of What's Actually Happening out There Right Means Only People Listening Are Going to Listen. I've Tried Yeah and What You Didn't Do Was Say I'm a Stop Here. You Said No.

Okay, These Are Okay. I Think We Got to Be Selective and and You Saw Jesus Be Very Selective about Who We Spent Time with an Choosy, I Would Say You Know and Just Let the Masses Come in All the Time. He Certainly Chose People to Have Dinner with and Spend Time with a Preach to the Masses That He Was in His Inner Circle. He Was Selective about and so I Would Say There's Three Things That in My Life That I Feel like Had Worked Well to Bring These People into My Life to Look for Number One.

Humility Means You Can Resolve Conflict Because There Will Be Conflict Right Number Two Is Availability.

You Need People That Need Friends Are Trying to Break into a Group That Is Been Together for Years Is Probably Going to Be Exhausting. One of Those People Might Be Your Friend Because You Really Click with Them but Don't Need to Be in That Group. Maybe It Will Work out, but It's Okay If Your Friends Are Not All in One Group You Can Have Different Friends, At Least in Different Time with and They Come Together for Your Birthday or Whatever and They Get to Know Each Other but Doesn't Have To Be My Circles Are Bigger Than Those Five Small Group People Now but They All Know Each Other but They're Not All That Science and That's Okay. And Then so Availability They Need to Be Available Immediately to See Him More Than for Sure. More Than Once a Month I Would Save More Than Once a Week You Should Be Able to See Him and Then and I Know That Blows People's Mind. Time for This, and I'd like to Address That.

After That, and so Availability, Humility and Transparency. If You Say Something the Way I Tell People to Test This Is to Start by Sharing Something a Little Bit Vulnerable. That Wasn't Great Because You Testing at Me like I Share This Year Shares a Little Bit Vulnerable, Not Something That You Walk Away Completely Wounded If They Throw Shame Back Your Way but Share Something a Little Bit Vulnerable and Then See How Goes If You Really Believe That Potential Is There Another Thing I'll Say Is Use Your Words If You Spent Significant Time with People in Your Being Vulnerable. I Need You to Listen. I Need You to Give Me Advice or I Need You to Not and Read Romans 81 over Me. There Is Therefore Now No Condemnation for Those in Christ Jesus, I Need You to Share Back. One Thing We Don't Do in Friendship As We Don't Use Our Words, We Don't Say We Walk Away from a Friendship before We Say Hey This Is What I'm I Have a Really Is My Best Friend. But When We Started Becoming Friends.

She Moved into Our Area. Dave and Her Husband Were Friends and Starting to Get to Know You in My Group. Yeah, We Both Had Little Kids Babies and like It Was a Struggle and so We Just Get Together Once a Month and There Was a Point Where We Had This Define the Relationship Talk, Which I Think Is What You're Talking about and She Said Why Do You Hardly Ever Call Me Kidding like If I Can Even Call My Mom Let Alone My Friend and Then I Said What You Want from Our Relationship Which I Had Never Asked Another Woman That Question. She Said Well Let Me Be Specific. I Want You to Call Me Every Day and Just Say Are You Surviving so That We Start Talking about like Well Can We Make It Three Days a Week, or Five Days a Week and Then We Started Getting into Just like You Would with a Male-Female Relationship. What Would This Look like. What Could It Look like It Was Amazing.

I Had Never Done That with Somebody Because before I Think What I Had Done As I Disappoint Them. I Feel Attention and I Would Pull Away Right I Go I Disappointed Her.

Again, I'm Not a Good Friend, but This Friend Was Saying. I Think You Can Do That, Let's Do That. Why Are You Saying That I Am like You and I Have a Friend like Your Friend Named Lindsay. I Talked about Her A Lot about This. She Is Her Mind. She's a Friend to Get so Mad at Me Because Is Negative and I like It Tells Me She Has Come over Regularly. She Dropped and She Changed the Way I View Friendship and I Feel She's in the Book so Much As I Call Her My Relationship Coach. She Is Just As Passionate Zealot Friendship and She's Really Good That Michelle He Fights for You. And When I Say I'm Fine. She's like No You Not Never Had Really Had Someone Fight That Hard for Me When I Didn't Get What Had Happened in the past Was Because I Wasn't Vulnerable Because It Was Hard for Me Because I've Been Wounded. Actually, If I Look Back at Myself in My 20s. Actually, the Super Vulnerable. It Was Being a Pastor's Wife That He Took That from Me and so I Needed to Make the Train Back Out Of Me. I Did Flex a Muscle Again and It Remember How to Do That and to Remember That I'm Safe, Not Always but but Certainly with This Group That Is Proven Safe. She Taught Me How and She Pulled Me out and I Think That Adding a People Are Listening and I Don't Have No One like That. I Talked about about It. If You Become Not You Will Have and That's What I've Seen Be True in My Life If I Initiate When You Asked How Do You Actually Make This People Find the People. It Was the Most Awkward I'm Moving to Dallas. I Certainly Know People in the DFW Area, but Not Many People That Were Blocks Are in Those 5 Miles and so I Had to Start from Scratch Somewhat. And so I Had to Make Phone Calls and I Reset on Facebook to My Old College Counselor That I Knew Lived in the Neighborhood and Said Can We Get a Coffee. We Hadn't Seen Each Other in 20 Years How I Got That Small Group Took a Risky, Awkward, Step Right. It Was She's like This Poor Desperate Girl You Really Region Your Coffee and Then She Said You Know What We Are about to Join a Small Group Would You Want to Join in and I Said I Don't Have a Ready for That. And Then That She Stayed on Me and A Few Months Later That Was Actually the Group We Joined and Were Still Together. So I Think It Does. Just Take Looking for Any Little Potential That You Could Possibly Imagine and Pursuing It, and Make Taking Initiative to Improve As You Said Pursuing Her Because I Think Often We Become the Victim and We so You Not Really My Friends Know That Every Child to Me and We Sort a Certain Way and Your Soon Get out There If You Want to Go Find a Parallel Plan You and I Would Say Right Now. The Reason It's a Book and Not Just a Podcast or a Pamphlet Is Because You Know A Lot Of People Are Tired Right Right so so so Much of What I Did in the Book Was to Create a Vision and to Say This Is Actually Worth It. And so for What You What You Know Is Hard Right, It Is Hard. I'm Not Suggesting It's Otherwise It's Awkward. It Takes Risk. It Takes Work. You Could Get Hurt.

All of That Is True. I'm Just Saying There's Not Really Life Apart from Relationship There's Not That Is Life.

You Will Not Look Back at Me. I'm Sure Your Sister's Funeral If She Was a Believer like and Saw All the People There Was a Great Investment of Her Life in That Room Right Now. Was It.

And so You Know That Those Are What Make Life Worth Living.

And so You Almost Have To Mean I Hate to Do It Because I Don't Want to Be the Bad Guy.

I like the Yellow Happy Cover, but the Reality Is We Kind of Have To Just Say like like Vitamins and Be like, You Know What Maybe I'm Not in the Navy Had Rather Watch Netflix My Rep Tonight. I'm Gonna Call Someone and I'm Getting by Someone and I'm to Do That. And As That Happens, the Stories Are Already Coming in of How That Has Changed Her Life. Just That Phone Call Just That Text Just That Coffee Date. Just Not Having You for One Friend It Was She's Been Sitting at Her Daughter's Gymnastics Class for Four Years with the Same Women and They Said There Is Goal. If a Small Talk with a Skull Event You Requested Here for an Hour, You Know, A Few Times A Week, and so She Turned and Went on and Started Asking the Questions and Then the Next Week. They Came over for Dinner and They Had a Couple Game Night and They Now Have a Relationship with Someone She Been Sitting beside for Years and so I Just Say Look at He's Already around You Notice Initiate and See What Happens.

You Been Listening to Damien Wilson with Jenny Allen on Family Life to. If You Been Listening to Family Life to Then You Know How Important It Is to Be a Family on a Mission. We Believe That God Calls Us into Community and to Serve Each Other with the Abundance of Resources That He Has Blessed Us with. As Ecclesiastes 49 Says Two Are Better Than One. Right Now There Are Two Ways That You Can Partner with Family Life to Impact Lives for His Kingdom. The First Is If You Feel Led to Start a Small Group We Want to Offer You a Discount on All Leader Materials with the Code 250 FF, and Second, You Can Partner with Us Financially to Make an Impact in Families As They Grow Closer in the Relationships That Matter Most to Find out More about Both of These opportunities@familylifetoa.com tomorrow.

David and Wilson will continue their conversation with Jenny Allen about the importance of setting aside time for friendships outside of your marriage that's tomorrow on behalf of David and Wilson. I'm Shelby Abbott will see you back next time for another edition of family life to family life is a production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most


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