the weblog of Alan Knox

Thoughts on community

Posted by on Apr 9, 2009 in blog links, community | 8 comments

Last week, Jamie from “A Living Alternative: Our Missional Pilgrimage” tweeted several thoughts on community. He listed the thoughts and explanations in a post called “Tweets on Community“. What do you think:

  • True community is found when we explore the right questions, not when we rally around required facts. This isn’t a denial of absolute truth.
  • Leaders should create space, raise the question and facilitate conversation. Out of this service, community is nurtured.
  • We must check our impulse to comfort, answer or fix. Often it is motivated by our own discomfort, not love or compassion.
  • The threat to true community is not difference of belief or even conflict. It is shallow, lip-service commitment.

Jamie explains his thoughts briefly in the blog post above. I think Jamie’s thoughts could be very helpful to people trying to live in community in Christ with others.


8 Comments

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

  1. 4-9-2009

    You know, I guess there is only so many ways to say the same thing.
    I noticed people like to say things in a more complicated or esoteric sounding manner.
    Maybe we need to stop using words we learn from the worldly management organizations and simply use biblical words.
    I mean – “Leaders should create space, raise the question and facilitate conversation. “ is right out of a Dilbert cartoon about management. How about instead we try something like – “Humble servants(leaders?) of the most high God, should exposit the “Whole counsel of God”(create space),use the parable(raise the question)and let the Holy Spirit Function(facilitate conversation). Out of this Worship of God(service)the body of believers are matured(nurtured) – All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.
    If you notice the above passage on “Thoughts on Community this is about as innocuous as you can get. There is not one word about the Bible, pray, servant, or being lead of the Holy Spirit. It is typically used to not offend anyone about anything(seeker sensitive) and give everyone the warm fuzzies.
    We use to call “Missional Pilgrimage”, names like witnessing, soul winning and being a witness(Godly) in your community.
    But again that little blurb can be used anyway in most situations without anyone ever catching on or ever protesting about it being religious. I believe I will put it to the test by using it in a training session I have coming up shortly. It will be for a government office so they will hop on it fast if it looks religious.

  2. 4-9-2009

    Al,

    Words and phrases mean different things to different people. “Expositing the whole counsel of God” does not necessary mean the same thing as “creating space”, although in some contexts they could refer to the same thing. Similarly, some people would point out that “missional pilgrimmage” may include “soul winning”, but it would also include loving people and helping them even if their soul isn’t (yet) won.

    -Alan

  3. 4-9-2009

    Again, maybe we are seeing the present day use of soul-winning as a program. If you want to see prerequisites of soul winning read Spurgeon’s book “Soul Winners Fire”. You can also just read God’s love story to us. You can’t not love people if you spend sufficient time before God’s throne for their salvation. Again, the witness in your community did mean being a good neighbor.If you are a “Godly” witness, that should entail enough “Good” traits to suffice. Good neighbors don’t pick and choose who they help. They just help. I do understand people trying to show their education though. I guess it is like the person in your Bible study always saying “in the Greek it says this.”
    Again, you can cut and paste those statements to any secular magazine and they would be just fine with it.

  4. 4-9-2009

    “The threat to true community is not difference of belief or even conflict. It is shallow, lip-service commitment.”

    Do you think Jamie means our commitment to Jesus or our commitment to the community?

  5. 4-9-2009

    Hi Alan-
    Sorry I posted as anonymous…pushed the wrong button.

  6. 4-9-2009

    Al,

    I think you’re right. People have started to use the term “missional” (and other terms) because other phrases such as “soul winning” have been used programmatically in too many cases.

    Anonymous,

    I don’t know what Jamie would say. I would say that commitment to Jesus is commitment to his community.

    -Alan

  7. 4-10-2009

    One other comment. I really like this blog site. I am struggling with a lot of the same issues concerning the meeting of the church. Not so much from the figuring out the how too’s(although not everything is figured out),but getting others onboard, so to speak. I especially get the stare,(on what planet do you live) from pastors, when mentioning my beliefs on the “meeting of the church”.I just wanted to say Alan, you are always a gracious blog host full of grace.
    Thanks, Al

  8. 4-10-2009

    Al,

    Thank you for the kind words.

    -Alan