I’ve been thinking a lot about community- what it is about, what it could be about, what it should be about, how it forms, its longevity, etc. I came across this passage in Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture by Michael Frost, and just wanted to share it, and wondered what ya’ll thought about it. Frost is writing about his experience in aiming to build intentional community with fellow Christ-followers. He’s been reflecting on Acts 2-4 and how his efforts at building community focused a lot on that example…but then he keeps reading and wonders if Acts 6-7 should inform our community building just as much.
I began to fear that we had lost something important in all our work in building community. I began to wonder whether Christians don’t do well to build community as an end in itself. We build community incidentally, when our imaginations and energies are captured by a highers, even nobler cause. Though it took me a while, I came to realize that Christian community resutls from the greater cause of Christian mission…I have come to realize that aiming for community is a bit like aiming for happiness. It’s not a goal in itself. We find happiness as an incidental by-product of pursuing love, justice, hospitality, and generosity. When you aim for happiness, you are bound to miss it. Likewise with community. It’s not our goal. It emerges as a by-product of pursuing something else.