:: Monday, April 05, 2004 ::
Over at Living Room, Darren asked a question regarding how to start an emerging church thing in a small rural community. I noticed some connections to what we do in our house, so I posted this comment:
I've been starting an emerging community within a house of graduate students at the Unviersity of Illinois - and I think there may be some analagous issues to being the emerging church there as there is to being in a rural community.
When it comes to "knowing everyone and everyone's business," living in a house together is a good place to do that. One of our fundamental issues in this is to help people see themselves and one another through the eyes of Christ. They *think* they know one another. And, given that our house is theoretically Christian, they *think* they love each other and God. And in many respects they do.
We began to overcome this shallowness and disconnection in relationships by creating community within the greater community. Two of us, being "natives" to the house culture, began living a community lifestyle focused on service to Jesus Christ. As the weeks and months have worn on, others, inspired by our lives, have begun to either join us or begin to apply our principles and lifestyle in their churches, etc.
Note, however, that when we said we created community within the greater community that we did not say that we created *a* community within the greater community. We live out community in the presence of the greater community as members of the greater community - we model it.
Through this, our historical divisions and pettiness has begun to fade - our politics, our territorialism, our "not my job" mentality is beginning to give way to a new sense of being-in-community: the community of love in Jesus Christ.
:: Matt 4/05/2004 08:43:00 PM :: permalink ::