Imagine with me.
When I first dreamed of missional communities and what they looked like, I had a grand dream in mind. The picture in my mind was one where, week in and week out, God’s fire from heaven would come down onto our gathering because of how awesome our community was!!!
Then I actually experienced one. It was far less glamorous and romantic than what I first envisioned. These were normal people, normal conversations,sharing the joys and sorrows of life, and God’s grace; but much to my disappointment, no fire fell from heaven.
You might say I had unrealistic expectations. Which picture of community is better? Is it the romantic idea of a commune where personal identity ceases and gets swallowed up by the identity of the whole?
Or does it, and should it look like a normal, but supernatural, evening filled with, graphic designers, bankers, photographers, former orphans, drug addicts, and carpenters, sharing Christ and life together?
Community for the Sake of Community Dies
“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.” -Bonhoeffer
Seeing fruit from the commitment to the community and not just the community itself
I must say the missional community did not live up to my standards, and for that I am grateful. You know what has happened? It’s not that we are being changed by the idea of community in and of itself, but we are starting to see fruit from the commitment we’ve made to the community. We’ve seen fruit in our lives from the commitment to live out all of the “one another’s” we see in Scripture.
Without Commitment, You Have No Community
We know this is true. Think about marriage, friendships, sports, all of those relationships depend on commitment. We see the benefits from the commitment we make to those individuals. The church is no different. In a culture that is adverse to commitment, we can offer a much greater picture of community, rooted in the commitment of Christ, and that commitment flowing through us to one another.
The good news is that we have been grafted into a better community because of a much greater commitment of Christ.
Right? Isn’t that the picture we have in Scripture? We are swallowed up by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, because He endured the cross, and set his “Face like flint” toward the cross.
I would ask us all, to lay down our grandiose visions of community, and pursue commitment toward each other, moved and transformed by the commitment we have seen and experienced in Christ.
Do we judge our communities too quickly? Is it because we really haven’t considered the idea of covenant and commitment to these brothers and sisters?