Like many others, my family recently hosted a Super Bowl party. Those who’ve held similar gatherings know that a perpetual hosting challenge is finalizing the guest list. A cardinal rule for some is to “never let your worlds collide”. You can choose which group of friends to invite (work, school, neighborhood), but never invite them all to the same party. We reason that having friends from different “worlds” all come together will just make more work! More work getting conversations started. More work keeping conversations going. More work maintaining the peace if someone brings up politics. An easier solution, we think, is to just keep our worlds separate.
While this strategy might make for less work when hosting a party, the opposite is true when serving your community. At the intersection of faith and mental health, the key to doing less work is to consistently collide your worlds. If you work in the mental health field, collide the world of your agency with the world of local ministires that assist the population you serve. If you are a member of a faith community, collide the world of clergy with the world of organizations able to support those in your congregation. When done well, these introductions can move from being painful collisions to fruitful connections. Far from creating more work, these connections will do the work for you as new friendships produce results you could have never acheived alone. So when serving your community, collide your worlds. Doing so will bring more health than harm.