February 28, 2018

No two communities are alike

Photo by Mike Newbry on Unsplash
"No two communities are alike."

"There are as many kinds of missional communities as there are people interested in starting them."

I say things like this on a regular basis. It makes people anxious. They don't like the uniqueness, the endless possibilities to get it right or wrong. I confess that I don't think the problem is my conviction concerning the endless variety and opportunity concerning new expressions of the church. Rather, I think the problem is that we have over systematized our processes. We have convinced ourselves that there is a cookie-cutter methodology that can be used to create leaders and faith communities.

That doesn't work.

Well, on one hand you could say it works. It worked in colonialism. It works when we commodify faith, making it no more than religious goods and services in exchange for your payment, er, I mean tithe.

If you agree that colonizing and commodifying faith does not work than you have to struggle with the realization that your contribution, your personality, your gifts matter. The hopes and hurts of each community, neighborhood or context matters.

Is this way harder? Maybe. But it's certainly more exciting and life-giving.

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