Building upon the idea that all of life is spiritual, one can make several other observations…

Community should be much more important than it is currently. I am amazed at how far people will drive to go to a church. If a church is to have influence in a community, shouldn’t it be made up of those who live in that community? I am afraid that we have lost our sense of community. There is a movie called Subdivided that points out this truth. The movie describes a subdivision in which people who live on the same street choose not to get to know each other, and make attempts to avoid each other. This seems to be the case so much, that the church has fallen into this mindset. The church has become an entity made up of people who are afraid to be involved or change things in their community. Instead, they drive away from their community to become a part of another pseudo-community in which they exert a perceived influence –though there is really very little influence there since they are not a part of this community.

It seems that a church should be made up of individuals who are a part of the surrounding community, looking to influence their own community positively toward Christ. In this manner, the church becomes a force in the community which is able to enact change. This power comes from the both the individual’s and the church’s position within the community. This small-community approach allows for an ecological point to be made as well.

If we cannot live in right relationship with those people, and the earth (which is God’s blessing) in our own community, what right do we have to expect others to do so?

A church made up of people who are ecologically minded at home in their own community has already made a huge accomplishment. There are already a large group of like-minded people working together in the community. Now they are ready to try and exert some influence for good upon others in that community.

This type of influence cannot exist in a fragmented church. This observation can help argue for small local bodies of believers instead of huge mega churches built on the church-growth model. However, some large churches are made up of small groups of believers who are a part of the same neighborhoods, etc. In this way the church builds community and gains the strength from numbers.

This idea (as well as several other good ones) can be found in Lionel Basney’s book “An Earth Careful Way of Life”.

2 comments on “Holistic Christian living part 2

  • How many of your neighbors do you hang with? Don’t you have a history of driving 30 miles to a church as a youth pastor?

    Obviously I’m playing devil’s advocate here. Although I do agree that the church should be much more of an outward reaching entity than a inward gathering of like-minded people, I think its easier said than done in todays society.

    If I understand your word “community” correctly, you never attended a church within your community growing up. I can’t think of one other person that attended our chuch and our school. And since school zones are by nature geographic, those people were a part of your “artificial community.”

    We once discussed this issue in a small group while reading a book that suggested that christians should live, work, and minister in the same small community of people. This sounds nice at first, but people seldom live this way anymore. It would be nice to consolidate our lives into a nice little community, but the reality is that we have to create community wherever we are.

    I don’t have a job that is located in or provides a service for the community – I have to create community by interacting and developing relationships.

    I don’t attend a church within my community, does that mean i shouldn’t be a part of that church?

    Our society is mobile, community doesn’t exist the way it used to because there is no permanence. (how many times have you moved in your life?) Is it possible to find a community in which you can live, work, play, and find an outlet for all of your ministerial giftings? Maybe, but finding and nurturing this is easier said than done.

    PS – Reading your blog totally screws up the eyes. Stare at a piece of white paper after carefully reading your post and you’ll see what I mean.

  • Nope- Justin

    Hmmm… that’s what I get for posting a half-baked thought. I guess I should think things through a little more so that people don’t point out my inconsistent arguments… 🙂

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