We all crave it. We all crave significant connections at deeper levels…especially when it comes to living out faith. I mean, there are some who avoid it, but hey, thats a matter of the heart. In my view, when we connect with God we automatically have the desire to connect with others.
But, we’re not commanded to go into the world and build community. Indeed, there is no real scriptural injuction to build community at all…not in and of itself. No, Christian community is not just built on relationship, it is centred around Jesus. It is that unique connection to Jesus that automatically creates community. Our response is to make space for it, celebrate it an embrace our brother and sister.
It’s not enough, though. Community won’t save the world. Jesus can. Community might show Jesus to the world…in fact I think that we can only show Jesus to the world if we do it together….I in myself am not a complete picture of some of the stuff Jesus is doing. But its not even enough just to ‘show Jesus.’
Community has to become communitas.
“Communitas is an acute point of community. It takes community to the next level and allows the whole of the community to share a common experience, usually through a rite of passage. This brings everyone onto an equal level: even if you are higher in position, you have been lower and you know what that is. “
Communitas is where those that make up the community are filled and bound to the spirit of that community. For the Army, its no rite of passage which creates it, but it is the infilling of the Spirit which indwells and then propels people into mission. We can share it equally with soldier and Commissioner. Our common experience is to engage together to win the world for Jesus.
So, a community which has communitas will not rest at simply being community. It will roll up its sleeves and respond to the world around it. Neither will it spend all its energy focussed on itself….it will have its focus on others because this is why we exist. It won’t simply rely on the power of community to do the talk, it will harness the power within it, the very Spirit of Jesus, to fuel it and fire it up. This will move us out of the comfort zone and resting on our laurels to every sphere of mission…together.
Listen to Alan Hirsch as he speaks to the heart of everything that is Salvationist:
Come on! Comrades of the world unite! 😉