Friday, September 07, 2007

What is Community?

There have been some great discussions in recent days over at Matt Hosier's blog about just what Christian community looks like. A general feeling of dissatisfaction was felt by most commentators, and a deep feeling that the way we live in the west is not all there is, or even a particularly good way to live.

I have seen this discussion widening more and more in both the UK and the US with blogs such as Matt, Tim Simmonds, Phil Whittall's ; groups on Facebook such as New Monasticism and the Irresistible Revolution and Another World is Possible; and provoking books such as School(s) for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism. What I find interesting is the breadth of people talking about this - Anglicans, Methodists, Charismatics, Reformed - the whole breadth, uniting around the idea that it is possible to express Christ through community more than we are at the moment.

These things have been bubbling away inside me for a few years now, and are beginning to take a more solid shape. Here are some random thoughts:

  • Why do we all need to live in our own little boxes? Why can we not share housing - releasing resources, saving energy, creating a more open and welcoming envirnoment?
  • How can we make the shift form seeing possession as 'my stuff' and start seeing them as 'God's Stuff' and thus seeing them as 'Our Stuff' - holding things lightly and generously?
  • If the world cannot sustain the life of the average Briton when given to the whole population of the earth, should we not change our lifestyle to live more simply?
  • The Church could be a prophetic voice, living genuinely counter-culturally to show that a better world is possible, that we do not have to live selfish, consumer-driven lives.

This all feels like a lot of jumbled thoughts at the moment. Anyone want to join me in working out what it all means?

What are we here for?