the church's one greatest asset
"Community Futures" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
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Doesn't everyone agree? I mean, we all know by now that most of the things the church provides: worship, teaching, connection to the Divine, meaning, charitable giving and service, etcetera, can be found and enjoyed without and outside of the church.
It is also true that community can be found outside the church.
BUT... most agree that finding meaningful
community outside the church is very, very difficult. I know from experience.
What I miss most about being in the church is the dynamic communities I enjoyed being a part of. When you become a part of a church, you are handed relationships on a platter... a network of possible friendships... a plethora of scheduled meetings with other like-minded people.
The problem is that church communities are often sullied with conflicting ideas, intentions, and agendas. I've experienced powerful moments of true community within the church only to have them eventually wrecked and ruined by well-intentioned people trying to turn it into something greater, or packaging it and marketing it for church growth purposes, or inflicting it with pressure to subscribe to a homogenous ideology and lifestyle, or imposing a vision upon it that turns it into an end rather than a thing of beauty in and of itself.
I claim the church's greatest asset is community. The church can refine its theology. It can tweak its liturgy. It can revamp its style. But it's respect and caring for community that's going to provide it with a future.
Unfortunately, community is the easiest thing to compromise, confuse, and kill.
But I believe with effort local churches can pay attention to its greatest asset and open up new vistas for the future church.
Community is something I'm passionate about. This is what we're trying to do at The Lasting Supper. Come join us today!