21 September 2011
I'm interested in what this book my add to the conversation on community. Most recent literature written about building community seems to miss big factors that cannot be ignored.
1. The current construct of going to church; listen to a sermon, watch a band lead worship on stage and benefit from a program put together by a high capacity leader, actually works against attempts to organize people into smaller community groups throughout the week that are more than bible studies. This is a habit most people and pastors are unwilling to be weaned off of.
2. The current culture of narcissism and emotional/relational dysfunction is the elephant in the room when it comes to sharing life with people. Sure you can organize people together, get them to do some missional activities and maybe even get them to pray together but true community will always squeeze "heart-stuff" to the surface most churches ignore in discipleship. Most say they want community and think its a wonderful experience when it happens but stuff like envy, jealousy, spiritual posturing, grudge-holding, selfishness with personal time, lack of appreciation for others unlike them, poor listening, cynicism and stubbornness in mutual submission end up filling up the communal space. These attributes get pushed to the surface quickly if community is really starting to happen. I don't see many church practice books seriously wrestling with what ends up consuming the discipleship in community.