Ok, I officially love this video...not because I'm a great fan of riding the bus (although I did quite a bit years ago when I was in high school, grad school, and even growing up in the city of Detroit) but rather because I believe in the power of community!
“The future of the church depends on whether it develops true community…unless we sense that we belong to each other, with masks off, the vibrant church of today will become the powerless church of tomorrow” Larry Crabb
“Spiritual community = the presence of conflicted relationships met by spiritual friendship, spiritual direction and characterized by the dependence upon the Spirit of God” – M. Scott Peck
When I was young in the faith, I got a taste of community. There were three young men who poured themselves in me as a brother, friend, and someone with whom they shared life. For two years, those relationships gave me hope, healing, comfort, accountability and, most important, a constant glance at Jesus and the reality of the Kingdom. Over a period of months, that little “band of brothers” became infectious and grew…other people wanted “in” because they saw something that they wanted and weren’t experiencing in their own life. I’m confident enough to call a spade a spade…they saw Jesus and saw the Kingdom of God. To say the least, I’ve been searching for a way to quench my deep desire for community ever since. Throughout numerous experiences, I have gotten close only to be sidetracked by ecclesiastical agendas, superficiality, and a host of other relational elements that caused community to break down. I’m tired of empty feelings when it comes to community – it has been my dream for a long, long time to enter anew into redemptive and Kingdom community before I reach the end of my earthly journey. I want to take the vision of scripture for a “ride” and find any way I can to experience the sense of awe, power, and satisfaction that comes in living in the flow of what Jesus created for us to experience. I promised the Lord that I would pursue that dream in my family’s most recent move and transition in life. We were created to experience oneness with God and each other. It is only when we enter into that oneness do we experience the fullness of life that God intended for us. I also realize as someone who takes the scripture seriously that we need to have the quality of community that incarnates Jesus and gives people an opportunity to see something that can only happen because of God. Relationships are difficult because of the essential brokenness of humanity. That’s why Christ-followers cannot tolerate having community that is anything else than a glimpse of the Kingdom. We need to be inviting people into an experience in relationships that actually transcends anything that can happen without the presence of the Holy Spirit. To have relationships like “everyone else does” does not give witness to the lives that Jesus calls us into. The following statement is a set of values that are non-negotiable in our belief about community. Community is transformational. We single-mindedly pursue the unity of love and the missional and incarnational witness of community in the context of our lives together in Kingdom living.
I know that that is alot to chew on..but take a bite and taste the vision of community! Jesus said, in fact He prayed, that we would be ONE in faith and in love. John 13 - "love one another as I have loved you." The thirst of community is not for those who are lonely and afraid but rather for those who dare to say that they follow Jesus. Christianity is a relational journey created in the image of a God who IS eternal community (we call that the "Trinity").
If you want MORE info on the vision of community, download the document that I have imbedded in this post.