Saturday, June 30, 2007


David Rudd picked up on the Bonhoeffer quote and added some additional thoughts about community. He writes:
I can't help but think about a lot of the things that churches do which end up masquerading for "true community". Support groups, recovery groups, even sometimes gender specific groups all have value, but rarely do they create the depth of community described in the New Testament. I'm not criticizing these groups, just pointing out that they aren't sufficient in themselves.
In his 1987 book, The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace (Simon and Schuster), M. Scott Peck, says that for any group to achieve community in the truest sense, it must undertake a journey that involves four stages:
  • "pseudocommunity," where niceness reigns;
  • "chaos," when the emotional skeletons crawl out of the closet;
  • "emptiness," a time of quiet and transition; and finally,
  • "true community," marked both by deep honesty and deep caring.
Most churches settle for the first stage. Because we are so scared of chaos and emptiness. We don't like to wrestle with things that we are uncomfortable with. We don't like being uncertain. And so we never get to true or real community.

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