Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The elusive goal of community

Deconstructing Neverland: Craving for community

Great post from Bobby Auner this morning on craving community. This desire for genuine community is, from my vantage point, the big sticking point for most organic/simple church groups. We have started a real movement to shed the institutionalization of the church and gather in a simpler manner, which is healthy and Biblical, but we still seem stuck focusing on the gathering and that makes it hard to take the next step and get to actual community. Obviously community goes way beyond the Sunday morning meeting and we all seem to know that but getting from “here” to “there” is problematic.

I am constantly trying to figure this out. How do we have genuine community among believers when everything that our culture teaches us about the church and every aspect of our modern society (with its busy-ness, constant racket from social media and entertainment, etc.) seems to conspire to prevent this community from being realized?

I still don’t have the answer to that. Some suggest that community will just form if we let it and stop trying so hard but I find that sort of pie in the sky Pollyannaish simplicity to be na├»ve. I don’t think community just happened in the first century and I don’t see it happening now. Community and fellowship requires effort and dedication.

So I appreciate Bobby raising this question yet again. I think that this drive for community will be something I will wrestle with the rest of my life and never truly achieve this side of eternity but the reward is worth the effort.

Unless of course I can convince Bobby and all of my other internet friends to move to Indiana…

4 comments:

Misplaced Honor said...

Arthur,

thanks for the link. I loved the point you made about how community is not something that "just happens". I agree we have to work hard at it. But the work looks a lot different than programs and school rooms. It looks like we are sharing our lives including our fears, struggles, and passions with one another. Then we rejoice and weep with one another. When we are doing this "work" community does happen because it is Christ that bonds us together, not a shared idea, vision or organization.

Misplaced Honor said...

by the way, the only way I'm coming to Indiana is if Al Gore is right and it warms up permanently :)

James said...

Yeah I was all about community..but you moved AWAY...

Arthur Sido said...

Well I am not really that much further away than we were in Lansing.