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Community…literally


My wife and I have been praying about possibly buying a condo.  We’re on a somewhat limited income, but with interest-only loans, it makes it possible for us.


Anyhow, I’ve been haunted by one of my recent sermons, “City of Dreaming Aliens”, where I basically talk about how we should be dreaming about the Kingdom of God, and not the American Dream.  In our prayers, we’ve been asking God to search our hearts; it’s so easy to just assume that home-ownership is part-and-parcel with living in America.


There are a host of reasons that prompted me to start thinking about this, but recently, I’ve been thinking about the idea of a literal Christian community—a bunch of Christians living in close proximity to one another (walking distance), exploring faith together and also being a transformative light in the neighborhood.  We as Christians make a commitment to living in that area—none of this moving around every 5 years—because we are committed to one another and to the people living in the neighborhood.  We share life and even possessions with one another—why each of us buy a lawnmower when we can share one or two? why cook dinner every night when we can cook for one another…freeing the others for ministry?


This is very radical to my thinking, because my wife and I have thought a lot of hospitality, living close to church and family, but also about if the place looks nice, about equity, etc.  Rethinking this in terms of a literal Christian community…that really challenges the approach that I’ve taken all along.


If this sounds like a cult to you, maybe I’m not communicating this right…this is not an exclusive community by any means, but rather Christians moving into a neighborhood together and being Jesus to one another and to everyone else in the neighborhood.  It’s about being incarnational, to use a cryptic word.


I’m not saying this is what we’re doing for sure…but I don’t want to just engage in meaningless dreaming either.  These are very underdeveloped ideas, but I just want to put them out there. 

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8 thoughts on “

  1. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t sound like a cult… sounds like the Early Church!!! I think it sounds fabulous. It’s a hard battle, though, in our culture that values individuality above all else. I think what your talking about is the way we, as Christians, are moving… I think (hope) it will happen like this someday… I think we are in a time of transition… I know many Christians who long for the kind of community you are talking about! hmmm… things to think about.

  2. i don’t know you, but i do know that dream.  and i think it only sounds radical to minds that don’t know that they’ve already kind of conformed to ‘the way things are’ in our world today.  melissa showed me a link to this post and your ideas are our ideals.  we used to talk about one day buying out an entire court and live like you’ve described… kind of like the way fellowship is described in Acts 2. 
    i wonder how many other ppl feel this way but just don’t come out and say it?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’ve recommended your site, and this discussion, on my site I think this is a good, and necessary discussion for Christians to have… why aren’t we “caring” for each other in a real tangible way like this??

  4. Let me give credit where credit is due.  One of my seminary professors recently shared about this.  He has been living in this sort of Christian community for quite some time now.  He and his neighborhood brothers & sisters have been meeting every Monday @ 730pm for the last 25 years!  They’ve had open block parties regular block parties, developed strong relationships with other neighbors, and really been a beacon of light to the surrounding homes.  That just blew me away, because I’ve known a bunch of people who started Christian communities, but then later disbanded.  I’ve heard of exclusive Christian communes, but, again, who later disbanded.
    I’m still looking for a place, but I feel partially paralyzed because I want to pursue this sort of incarnational Christian community…but I’m not sure if there are other people with whom I can do that with.

  5. Hey, My old roommate from college has been attending a church in the oakland area…very urban small community that lives just like you said…my friend is actually sort of an outsider because he’s the only commuter that goes there….but yea. It’s an african community, but my buddy is Chino like us.

  6. 2 eProps for finding a condo/home that meets you and your wife’s needs/wishes/wants. I am going to try and make it this Sunday. Don’t hold it to me though, work stuff comes up all the time. But, it should be fine this upcoming Sunday.

  7. victor, pat, and I have been talking about starting a cult in idaho for a while now…;).  I think we are supposed to live in community like that!  A non-exclusive community of course:).  Doesn’t hurt to try.

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