community…

Once again I’m lying here past midnight feeling awake…I’ve got to give up those early evening powernaps I’ve recently taken up! Maybe I’m trying to get into good habits before baby T arrives!

Anyway, I’ve just realized that a while back I said I was thinking more about the shape of things that may be appearing in the not-too-distant future. Kay and I are deeply passionate about creating some kind of expression of our faith that integrates who we are with what we believe and with those around us. It’s also an acknowledgement of the apparent fact that church is a deeply alien place for many of our generation and beyond, meaning we have to be – or, actually, want to be – people who seek out where God is at work in the lives of our friends and communities that we’re part of. Then we can help them discover that and become part or the body somewhere along the way.

So, this whole creating church thing seems distant at the moment, but I thought I might stick down some values that seem to be vital to what we’re about:

1) genuine community – a place where people can be who they are called to be, not put on their Sunday best and hope that no-one asks them how they’re really feeling or what they’re really thinking. Genuine community needs sacrificial commitment to one another – the acts 2 kind way…which leads me on to…

2) generous community – I’m really interested in finding out about ways in which we might be part of a community of people who believe in kingdom economics – again acts 2 jumps out at me here. How can we give extravagantly whilst stewarding wisely what we’ve got. I’m thinking here about the potential for communal living and all that entails. Not off in some remote rural place but in the heart of our towns and cities…which leads into…

3) transformative community – clearly the gospel is all about change – we become something better than we presently are by embracing the extravagant love of our creator. Our response is to become caught up in his mission – the transformation of our world here and now to reflect the beauty of the kingdom. I’m thinking Isaiah 61 here and all those awesome old testament passages about justice. That means leaving people with no doubt that an encounter with the risen, glorious Christ means something more than that which the church has presented over the years. Freedom from fear. Freedom to be who we were created to be. Freedom to change our world. Heaven is a glrious prize – but so is the kingdom here and now.

So that’s where I am so far. Anything you want to add?

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