thursday morning, and i’m trying to capture my sleepy thoughts while i can. i started this morning conversing about community with tawd, who i lived with in intentional community for two years. ironically, renewed thoughts of community are coming at a time when i’m trying to make the decision of whether or not to live all by myself again. (of course, i’ll always have the community of blaze and sophie, the sweet creatures.) (omigosh – stop me before i become one of those animal ladies with twelve cats and five dogs!) anyway, i’m remembering how essential community is to my worldview. the only problem is what does that community look like? i’ve always had a vision of my home being a gathering place for community. after isolating myself for a time, that vision was suffocated a bit. but it’s being reawakened. i did the whole common purse, structured community thing for a couple of years, and it left me with a few solid thoughts of my own ideal community:
1. it must be organic, and have room to ebb and flow naturally.
2. sharing of resources is essential, however, a common purse (at least for myself) is not always the best option. arguments over money are one of the biggest causes of divorce, both in marriages and community. in my experience, i’ve seen a common purse allow for some to not live responsibly, and for an inbalance of work and energy to occur. this kind of inbalance can lead to a lot of resentments, then added guilt for feeling resentful.
3. community must hold its members responsible to develop their gifts, and to be productive members of the community and society as a whole. community must not be used as an excuse for laziness and apathy.
4. community cannot be an ends in itself. if community exists simply for the sake of being a community, it becomes ingrown and incestuous. community is an extremely effective tool for allowing its members to have more energy and resources to connect with the larger, broken world.
5. community is a part of the larger, broken world. we cannot forget our brokenness. we cannot forget the larger world, which as believers we are called to love.
6. love covers a multitude of sins, especially in community.
7. community must liberate and empower its members and the world the members touch on a daily basis.
ok, i realize some of these statements may seem strong. they’re really just a few thoughts based on my experience.
hmm…i almost feel like i just wrote a mission statement!