mustard seed conspiracy…What are new possibilities for community in times like these #2?

by tom sine —

We are living in turbulent times that will demand the very best of the followers of Jesus everywhere.  We will all need much more of the support of community to weather stormy seas.

Authenticity!  Authentic whole life faith is what I most commonly hear young missional innovators seeking for themselves and followers of Jesus in the entire church.  But they often tell me how disappointed at how many of us seem to be satisfied with a compartmentalized culturally conforming faith that bears little similarity to the life Jesus.

Could it be that part of the problem is that many of us live in very comfortable, affluent neighborhoods where too many of us seem content to allow our income, class and our neighborhoods define what we value and how we steward our lives?  Could it be that too many of us have settled for a way of life defined by the dominant culture where following of Jesus is marginalized to little more than a devotional add-on to our “real lives?”

Is it possible that we will all increasingly need community to not only weather stormy seas but also to live more authentic whole life faith in times like this?  What are the spectrum of possible expressions of community for followers of Jesus?

  • One of the most interesting models I have found recently are the small missional groups that meet weekly in homes at New Life Church in Torrance California.  When these people gather they focus primarily on how to care for their neighbors instead of just the issues of their own lives.
  • Spring Water Congregation in Portland Oregon is a community where a group of younger Christians have moved into the same neighborhood.  They find that by living in proximity they are not only able to be of greater support to one another.  But they find they are also to be able to be there for their neighbors for example sponsoring bicycle repair days at the local elementary school.
  •  Reba Place Community Home was launched near Chicago in the seventies as both a church and an intentional Christian community.  Like many monastic communities it has in many ways been clearly counter cultural.  They seek to make real in their common life and their commitment to justice and peace something of God’s new creation.

As you seek to weather these volatile times and faithfully follow Jesus are you considering joining or creating community?  Are you open to join others in becoming a counter cultural community by following the One who invites us not to seek life but lose life in service to God and others? Drop us a line and let us know the community you are seeking or participating in.  let’s have a conversation.

Coming soon….more voices will be sharing their experience of community for times like these…