I jokingly call my blog the "blog without comments!" I always get excited when I get one because it doesn't happen all that often.
But, there was a big response to my thoughts about community. This is exciting because each person that responded is living it out and is able to speak to the power of being in a healthy, vibrant, living community.
One person wrote that they have been in a community for 32 years~Wow!
They stated that having a covenant that they wrote about their intentions for the community has really made a difference. They also look to each person to bring something that God has shown them through the week to share with one another. And, that they make room to rub up against one another, which means they experience conflict, but they don't run from it, they allow it to refine their relationship, like iron sharpening iron.
This thought that everyone brings something that God shows them through the week is really powerful.
It is a definite transiton from listening to the preacher or the teacher, to one where we each carry a responsibility and a privilege to share the "aha" that we experienced with our Creator that week. As we do this, we see God's movement multiplied and it definitely makes us stronger as a people gathered. It also helps us to connect in deeper ways as our sharing will touch another in meaningful places.
The other vital piece of this is path for community is that it makes us balanced. One person or family doesn't stick out as the ones who have it together or are "mature" but everyone begins to live into that place, recognizing their voice matters just as much as everyone elses.
I've had some people tell me that they really want to hear from someone who is seminary trained. And, yes, some very beneficial things get shared, but if the Holy Spirit lives in everyone who follows Jesus, don't we all have the ability to hear him and then share what we learn?
I dream of missio communities that are committed to one another, despite all the obstacles, including conflict!
I dream of missio communities that run to be together because it is truly the best part of each week.
I dream of missio communities that extend the invitation for others to join them because they know that what they have is just too good to keep to themselves.
I dream of missio communities that have a missio purpose so important that they would rather die than not help make it happen.
I dream of missio communities that will show the world who Jesus is: our Loving Creator who came as a human to show us who God is. Jesus, Immanuel, God moving into our neighborhoods!