Community and Me

06-road-trip-179

Have you ever met the solo super Christian?  The one who is sure that becoming like Jesus can be done Sawyer-style from Season 1-2 of “Lost” style.  Yeah I know few will get that.

I hesitate to even write about community just because it seems to have become so cliche in the last few years, but that does not change the fact that we need it.  We need it to become like Jesus it is not optional.  And no, Facebook, twitter, blogging, email, texting are not a substitute or should be a primary vein of community.  Imagine if these were the dominant methods in which you communicated with your spouse, and if you are thinking that is the case then repent.

My struggle with community is that I am a crock pot guy.  I need time to build relationships and know that the relationship will have time to marinate.  I have a hard time giving my all or being dialed in when I doubt I will ever speak to that person again.  Its not that I can’t converse and get along fairly well in social settings, or meeting new people, actually Crystal says I sometimes shine the most in these situations and am gifted at facilitating in groups.  Its just these atmospheres rarely feed my soul.  My blogging doppelganger on the other hand is like a puppy in a pet store when you put him around new people (make sure you put some newspaper down.)

I’m at a season in which I am begining anew in church community relationships, and then with little motivation to do so for fear I might move on again in the near future.  Why is it that this is a problem? I’ll tell you.

We live in a nation that is opposite of the Biblical framework, a person’s thought process begins with “I” instead of “we.”  We are individual in identity and accomplishment and we transport these things into our Christian faith.  We have bad experiences in the Church and become jaded.  We leave saying things like, “I love Jesus but not the church,” or “I am spiritual just not religious.”  What is really being said is that I have tried the Christian community and if my fault or others the result was negative.  Truth is though this is really just a self-righteous mentality that thinks the Church and/or others are more messed up than me.

I am on the verge of rambling here so let me just say this.  The average human spends 13 uninterrupted years watching TV, 13 years.  I think all of us could afford to give a bit more to creating and building Kingdom community so that we may show it to others and be transformed in it.

ryan

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4 Responses

  1. hi ryan,

    we’ve stopped by here briefly in the past but for some reason ended up here today. anyway, i think you have some really good points, and most definately community on f/b, blogger, twitter, etc. should not be replacements for face-to-face fellowship w/people, but we have learned and are learning that there are many people throughout the globe that are yearning for REAL fellowship, a place where they can talk about their sin, their struggles, their hopes, their needs and be heard. as if someone does care, its sad and yet at the same time God has asked us to respond and not to tread lightly on the impace that He can have through a conversation w/out judgment, or where you just throw caution to the wind and get honest.

    i think most people have experienced many times what you’re describing above, probably for different reasons, but that people are apathetic and not ‘really’ interested in other people especially if they are not in their ‘community’ won’t see them again, etc.

    But what if, we stopped thinking about what response we’d get of sharing, or removing ourselves from benefiting from giving?

    what if we were just who we are, as God designed us and gifted us with whomever, wherever and thinking about the outcome becomes irrelevant?

    I mean consider for a moment, if you shared your faith with a stranger, and you never saw that person again, but then went on to seek after God because of the hope you shared, or a real moment of weakness you were ok w/admitting (not concerned w/how others would view you)….wouldn’t that change how you think about your interactions with others? I mean if we’re not inward focused, but concerned with those who are lost….(even those that don’t think they are yes even w/in the church)..wouldn’t we really be living our life in obedience to Christ?

    we remove the veil, we remove ourselves from gaining anything from the situation, we put ourselves out there and we just respond to God. it would be a very freeing thing….

    personally, now that I am a follower of the way, i’ve looked back on my life in darkness and am able to see those moments when the light was shown on me, and i pushed on….but if no one ever took the time to love on me, or to just listen to me, i may not be in the family of God…considering He chose to use people to share His message and love..

    my thoughts anyway, thanks.

    heather

  2. speaking of sawyer….
    can we get some LOST thoughts on here? i’m very interested in what your are thinking/feeling about this season…esp since we haven’t talked about it since the crazy premiere party night… 🙂

  3. Ryan – great words! Is there anything our world strives for and needs more than true community? Yet it’s messy, often ugly and even painful…and committing to it can feel like standing at the top of a cliff.

    And if we’re talking about Lost I’ll just toss in a “What the Heck?” Which is really all I ever think whenever I watch! I’ve waited for years for them to expound on the mysterious giant foot with an abnormal amount of toes…only to have my anticipation shattered by a 5 second shot of the entire statue from a distance…then flash…that was it.

  4. Hey Brad,

    Great to hear from you. Hope your wife is feeling good and your baby is healthy. We should get together sometime and grab a beer.

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