I’ve had a lot of thoughts in my head lately about community, fellowship, and what the body of church is and should look like. A recent conversation started the all pondering (and yes Jen, I have even mused). During the talk I reflected on my experience as a youth in the Church, saying: "Everyone was too busy telling us the rules and trying to prove they were good little followers that too few would be real enough to show clay feet…we all need to see more followers of Christ without masks." And later "There are just too few examples of communities being love in action." My own harsh judgements* has left me struggling with more questions then I have answers for. The more I reflect on the subject the more the topic seems to grow. But I have been able boiled my thoughts down to the four questions. I hope to look at each question individually. My questions are:
1) What is the ideal community?
2) What are the flaws or things that hinder the ideal?
3) What would this community look like when considering the flaws and the messy world we live in?
4) How do we make this practical community a reality?
Currently my thought of what the church should be (or the ideal community) is: "People coming along beside each of other to walk in the mud and filth that comes of living in this very fallen, messy world and helping restore us as we live with the consequences of our choices"
How would you define the perfect/ideal Christian community?
*I realise that both statements are sweeping and stereotypical and not a 100% true for every church or Christian. Nor was my overall experience in the church as a teen negative; if it was I probably would not be where I am now.