Image for 'Find Your People'

Find Your People

"We weren’t just built for community; we were built because of it." By Jennie Allen

A village: it’s a state of being we all desire. How do I know this? Because whenever I have a stressful day, guess what I turn on at the end of it? 

The television show “Friends.” 

Why did we love that show so much? The coffee shop as a second home, the never-locked doors, the communal living, the unique personalities that stuck it out with one another no matter what. For a decade, those six friends did everything together. They laughed and cried and cheered and sighed—adulting, arm in arm. They were each other’s constant. They were each other’s home, and when we watched them, we felt like they were our friends, like their home was our home too. And while those six had been many not-so-great things along the way—neurotic and needy, offendable and obsessed, ridiculous and self-righteous, possessive and downright jerks—the one thing they’d never been was alone.

Nothing felt more wrong to me than the last episode of the series. Monica and Chandler brought their adopted twin babies into the world and then moved a world away. Or that’s how it seemed, anyway. Right when they would need their friends the most, they settled for a swing set and a yard. I was appalled. 

And yet so many of us make the very same trade. 

We move to cool cities. We move for higher-paying jobs. We choose colleges for their reputation. We choose churches for the best preaching. We hunt for our dream home in the “right” neighborhoods. We shape our lives around a set of values that were handed to us from our terribly independent, success-driven culture. 

But are we happy? 

Why We Crave Deep, Intimate Relationship

A few years ago, I went home to see my parents for the weekend and got together with some friends from childhood days. Nearly every one of my close friends from junior high and high school still live in the same community where we grew up. These girls became adults, moved out of their parents’ homes, attended college, got married and then bought homes of their own just blocks from where their parents still live. When I go back to visit, it’s like rewinding to me at age 17. The streets are the same. The trees, while bigger, are the same. The landmarks are the same. My friends are the same. 

Anyway, that weekend, after three or four hours of sitting around the table eating, laughing, commiserating and reliving a hundred hilarious memories, we started vision casting about the retirement house on the beach we will one day share after our husbands are gone. We were joking (kind of), but the idea of deep-down communal living made my heart sing, and as much as I love my family, there is something about the vision of dear friends cooking together and sharing the daily mundane; that sounds perfect to me.

If you are an introvert, I worry that you’re about to put this down. I realize that I am hardwired for relational connectivity more than most people, but please hear me out: 

Even if a house full of friends isn’t your dream come true, you were built by God for deep relationships.

In fact, God existed in relationship with Himself before any of us were here. It’s called the Trinity. God is one, and God is three. (If you’ve never heard this before, don’t worry. It hurts my brain still, and I’ve been to seminary.) The key point is this: for all eternity, God has existed in relationship—as Father, Spirit and Son (Jesus).

Scripture says that the Son exists to glorify the Father, and that the Father exists to glorify the Son. It says that the Spirit exists to glorify them both. What that means is that they help each other, they promote each other, they serve each other and they love each other. What’s more, this exchange has been going on for all eternity.

It means that our God has been relational forever. It means that He created us out of relationship for relationship—and not a relationship that is surface level or self-seeking. No, the relationship He has in mind for us is … sacrificial, intimate, moment-by-moment connection. 

Author and pastor Tim Keller said, “The life of the Trinity is characterized not by self-centeredness but by mutually self-giving love. When we delight and serve someone else, we enter into a dynamic orbit around him or her, we center on the interests and desires of the other. That creates a dance, particularly if there are three persons, each of whom moves around the other two.” 


Relational. It’s who we are because it’s who God is. 

We were made in the image of God, who is relationship. This means our longing for healthy, mutually submissive, supportive, interdependent relationships isn’t simply us craving something good for us, like vegetables or vitamins; we are craving the fundamental reason we were created. We weren’t just built for community; we were built because of it. Woven into the fiber of our souls is a pattern for experiencing intimate relationship with God and then expressing that love in our families and communities and churches. 

But here is where we go wrong. We look to people to complete and fill what only God was meant to fill. This is the primary reason we all are so unhappy with each other. We have put our hope in imperfect people. But that hope can successfully be answered only in God Himself. Eternity was set in our hearts, found in Ecclesiastes 3:11, which means only a relationship with an eternal God can fill our hearts. 

Consider what you’re aiming your hope toward. Who is in the center of your affections? Who is in the center of your identity? We all have a choice. The answer will determine whether you live fulfilled or repeatedly disappointed. 

If God is in the center of our relational circle, we will be fulfilled, and out of that fulfillment we can bless others. But if people are in the center of our relational circle, we end up pulling on others to meet needs that they can’t ever fully meet. 

Jesus said it clearest. When asked to name the greatest commandment, He said all the commandments could be boiled down to this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36-39, NIV). When you have God in the right place, at the center of your affections, you will, more likely, get people right. So, yes, that relationship comes first, but that relationship is meant to send us into loving others. 

Excerpted from FIND YOUR PEOPLE: Building Deep Community in a Lonely World © 2022 by Jennie Allen. Published by WaterBrook, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, on February 22, 2022.

For Further Reflection

How to Make Friends On Campus:

  • Step out of your comfort zone!
  • Know your surroundings. Get to know the place around you (i.e., college, a new campus).
  • Join student organizations and/or clubs on campus.
  • Ask classmates to study and work on the assignments together.
  • Know yourself and your values and what type of friends you would want.  


  • Find Your People by Jennie Allen helps you overcome the barriers to making new friends. 

Jennie is the founder and visionary of IF:Gathering as well as the New York Times bestselling author of Get Out of Your Head, Made for This, Anything and Nothing to Prove. A frequent speaker at national events and conferences, she is a passionate leader, following God’s call on her life to catalyze a generation to live what they believe. She earned a master’s in biblical studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Zac, have four children.

@peer.magazine 5 ways to make friends on campus! 💛 #WhatDreamsAreMadeOf #LizzieMcGuire #RelationshipAdvice #ChristianTikTok #Christian #Friends #FYP #ForYou #ForYouPage ♬ BRENT MORGAN What Dreams Are Made Of – Brent Morgan

You May Also Like