When I went to Furman University, I lived in Freshmen dorms for the first three years. I did so primarily for ministry purposes. Being a sophomore and junior on a freshmen hall put me in a position to be able to build relationships and eventually share the gospel with young lads and lead bible studies.
But as I look back, I never really felt like a made a sacrifice. After all, at least for my sophomore year, the only alternative was the infamous ‘sophomore’ dorms. In the freshmen dorms, the doors are ALWAYS open. People are constantly coming in and out. They’re new. They don’t already have relationships and are always open and looking.
On the contrary, if you were to walk through the halls of ‘sophomore dorms,’ you’d find doors which were ALWAYS closed. Their relationships have already been formed. They don’t feel any need to keep their doors open to their neighbors.
Some neighborhoods are like freshmen dorms. While their doors are not literally open, their garages are, or they are out in the yards, etc…They are looking for relationships actively or are willing for new folks to come to them.
However most neighborhoods are like sophomore dorms. Garages go up, cars go in, garage doors go down, and people go inside.
So then should we not seek relationships within our sophomoric neighborhoods? No. Building community where there is little or none is a tiresome, prayerful effort. While difficult, it is not impossible. It takes small strides, big prayer, and a little faith. But a little goes a long way. Even when dealing with sophomores (which literally means ‘wise fool!’)