From a reader who asks you, Jesus Creed reader, for some advice:
So, I???ve been kicking around the question: What is most necessary and essential to Christian community?
It???s a word tossed around so blithely. I???d stop using it, but I???m too concerned about it.
Some recent thoughts:
-I think back to my time teaching at a Christian High School, and they assumed that shared experience (in the form of mission trips) created true community. It seemed true, for a time. The kids began to idealize their past experience, but were unable to care for each other in the day-in-day out realities of friendship.
-My wife had thought that other cultures experienced a purer form of it (because of their interdependence). Then she spent some time in Africa and witnessed how very divided and shame-based the culture was. Given the chance to come to the United States, most people would leave their families with no plans to return. These were the good people she met.
-I???ve been reading the Benedictine rule this week and wonder if some level of commitment/covenant is required. But it seems so rigid.
-I asked a Pastor who has helped his people move to a church more concerned about each other and about their own formation, said, ???It???s vulnerability.??? But I wonder if it???s just an essential result.