What is Community?

Winn Griffin’s comments in his “STORY” article on “Community” stirs something in me … Here’s the stuff I highlighted (probably gonna share this in LiFE Group meeting tonight) from his section on “God’s Metanarrative Condensed- Act 1: The Creator God and His Creation“. (his words in bold mine in italics)

“God’s creation of community told Israel the importance of being the people of God”

“Community is not just a loosely knit group of people who believe the same things about certain issues.”

Greenpeace does a better job than any of us in the church interms of environmental issues! As Christians, we need to be concerned with the issues that around us. In fact, I was pretty excited to hear that a friend of mine is serious about his calling in politics and we need to support people like that. But, as a church being a community is more than being social activists …

“It is not a group of individualized individuals who gather in a building and do certain religious activities on a regular basis, …”

I think healthy routine and rhythm is crucial to the development of any human endeavor including our discipleship and ministry. To me, Sunday Worship Gathering is like the “Real Presence” I encounter through Holy Communion. God is surely always present with me, but during times like this it’s a special gift a special grace. This type of thinking guards me from a fraghmented view of “gathering” and guides me to an integrated view where being God’s people is primary, and our gatherings or meetings serve to strengthen that not distract! We meet but we’re more than meetings! (not more meetings ok?)

“or small groups that provide occassions for individuals to focus on themselves in the presence of others.

I fear that many of our cell groups (we call it LiFE Groups in BLC) or small groups may be in danger of degenerating into that. There is a place for “support” groups and we do find “support” from each other in this context, but I believe the focus needs to at least be on others and ultimately on God and not ourselves. We start with where we are but then we open to where others are at and together listen to HIS VOICE and move to HIS KINGDOM!

“Community is a tightly knit group of people on mission, sent by a redeeming God as his conduits for bringing his world back to him. Its vocation is to find the pain of the fallen world and bring the church/community there to begin the process of redemption”

That’s nailing it hard on my heart! OUCH! It’s a massive project. I was reading Peter Jackson’s comment about making the movie trilogy “The Lord of the Rings” how it was tiring,and exhausting mentaly and physically but never dull, that’s what this definition and vision of “community” does to me … keeps the colours alive in my quest for authentic community, keeps me focused. It can be tiring and exhausting because sometimes you feel so alone on this journey, one of those “Elijah” times as if you’re the only one seriously thinking about this. But, I believe the Lord has kept his “thousands”(there must be more) who have not bowed their knee to the “Baal” of self-centred-consumer-religion. Time to come out guys and gals, time to come out and play!

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