Friday, March 23, 2007

40 Days of Community

My church has been focused on community this year and especially during the Lenten season. We've embarked on a 40-day journey about community that's got me thinking.

I struggle when I hear the goal for community is to do life together. It seems that all of the small group communities I've been exposed to over my Christian years do not last much longer than 2 years. And when the small group dies a slow death, I'm not sure it ends very healthy. Friendships are no longer and you fall out of touch with one another. But I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. I just think that we go through a season of relationships throughout our lives.

There also seems to be this expectation that we're going to become the best of friends as a result of being in community with one another. I don't discount that I genuinely care and love the members of my small group, but I wouldn't say that we're at the BFF point in our lives yet. It takes a pretty special person to fill this role and truthfully looking back in life I can count on one hand the number of best friends I've had in my life. More on that later...

I wish we wouldn't sugar coat the idea of community. Maybe we just need to be straight talkers for a change and not say we're going to do life together. Maybe it makes more sense to say, "We're going to likely hang out for the next two years exploring life's questions together."

Just because I am not a presence in your daily life doesn't mean that I'm not in community with you. I think giving up a Saturday evening is pretty precious when you're living a busy life with a full schedule. And I think you can be in daily community with one another through prayer. Sure touch points are nice throughout the week but we need to remember that our ministry priority begins the home first.

And can't we be in multiple small groups? I would venture to say that I am in three: my church small group, my accountability partners I meet with weekly, and my worship team. Each one offers something different that the others don't. Along those lines, I contribute differently to each one as well. I think they each serve a need and are equally important.

Sorry this is kind of a rant, but it's been on my mind. I wanted to get it written down to remember my feelings on this particular day.

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