the weblog of Alan Knox

Learning from an outdoor rave

Posted by on Dec 13, 2007 in blog links, community, missional | 7 comments

Lainie at “Headspace” has published an article written by her husband called “Everything I learned about being ‘missional’ I learned at an outdoor rave“. Many of these nuggets of wisdom are very beneficial to people who are trying to live in community with one another. Consider these:

Everyone will forget to bring something they need. Everyone will remember to bring something someone else needs, even if they aren’t trying to.

Don’t spend all your time in one tent.

Telling other people they should dance is a bad way of getting them to dance. Dancing is a good way of getting other people to dance.

Sometimes, someone will overdo things. If you feel so euphoric that you don’t see someone who is overdoing things, then that person is probably you.

Everyone who brings their dog will be astonished at how quickly all such dogs form a “dog society” and form a gleeful marauding pack. Remember that people are not so different, for better or for worse.

Gather firewood and bring it to the campfires of people you don’t know, especially ones on the verge of going out.

Keeping things underground and word-of-mouth is a great way of screening out fake people who would turn the experience into Like Just Another Club, Except Outside.

The large green laser down at the end of the campsite that’s shooting through all the campfire smoke is also hitting clouds and generating UFO reports among the locals. No amount of planning can entirely prevent being misunderstood.

Bad weather has a way of separating the wheat from the chaff. The people whose feet are caked with mud, whose makeup is running horribly, and whose clothes are soaked through are probably worth meeting, because they are the ones who will help push your car out of a rut when it’s time to go home.

I hope you were able to see some of the community metaphors in these snippets. If so, share with us what you’ve learned about living in community – either from the sayings above, or from your own experience.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 12-13-2007

    That was awesome.

  2. 12-13-2007

    With all due gentleness and respect, I’m not so sure it is wise to positively compare the similarities between the interactions of those within a Christian assembly to that of an an outdoor rave, no matter how similar some of the human dynamics are. Human dynamics at a secular party venue are one thing, but a Christian ekklesia empowered by the Spirit is quite another. In other words, I think that to suggest a comparison between the two is a classic category error.

  3. 12-13-2007


    I agree!


    God created all people in his image – even though that image is fallen now. Thus, I think it is possible for us to learn from people who are not saved – even those who attend a rave. Notice, that Lainie did not, and I would not, list everything that people attending a rave may believe or learn. However, there are some things consistent among people seeking community.

    The thing that I find troubling is that people attending a rave seem to understand community better than many who claim to be God’s children.


  4. 12-14-2007

    The thing that I find troubling is that people attending a rave seem to understand community better than many who claim to be God’s children.

    Good point and well taken. Thanks for the kind response brother!

  5. 12-14-2007


    Thank you for taking my reply in the tone intended. When I read back through my response, I realized that it could be read as being harsh. But, then I remembered that I was replying to you, and that you always give me the benefit of the doubt. I appreciate that!


  6. 12-14-2007


    I appreciate your tone as well brother! It is often difficult to communicate differences of opinion or interpretation cogently and directly yet gently and respectfully in a Christ-like manner (1 Peter 3:15). I originally thought about just sending an e-mail regarding some of my differences on this subject, but upon further consideration, I thought that others might be willing to interact *respectfully* and charitably with my disagreements so as to sharpen myself and others for the glory of God!

    BTW, I think you are on to something as it pertains to the human dynamics aspect of a rave, I am just concerned that we would consider looking at a secular rave (wherein much ungodliness is fostered – I know, I took part in my “B.C.” days . . . :-)) in order to find an example of what true community can be like and then apply that to the Spirit-empowered ekklesia. God bless bro!

  7. 12-14-2007


    I agree about communicating differences and concerns about raves.