Tuesday, December 09, 2008

10 Parts to Christian Community: 1 A definition of Community

In my understanding community is a sharing of life with the people that are around you in such a way that it is beneficial for the whole.

Proximity: community is formed in those areas in which one has a direct effect on the culture. Thus, it is found in the neighborhood, living and knowing the neighbors intimately. It is found in the workplace/schoolyard, those places that we interact with a number of people continually. It is found in the areas by which you can walk by foot, knowing the turns, the houses, the dogs, the cars, all that surrounds your life. Community must be formed and found in proximity to the one who is engaging community. To engage outside of one's "parish" is to engage loosely in the attempt to develop relationships strained by time and distance. Truly, Proximity is an aid in forming community

Neighbor: The classic question is how one defines neighbor. A community is made up of people who are neighbors. These people live next door to, and across the street from other people who are neighbors. Thus, the idea of neighbor are those people who happen to live and interact in the "parish" that is around the person trying to engage the community.

Skill Set: Every community is made of certain talents and personalities. Certainly not all personalities will mesh, but through the development of community and neighborliness the members of a community should begin to address the needs (both physical and psychological) of those people immediately around them. In short the term is "give away that which you are skilled in" Do something for someone without expecting a payback. It's for the sake of community.

Hospitality: truly, this is the key to community. It is the open sharing of life together with those in immediate contact to one's parish. It is the eating of meals together, the sharing of drink on a front porch, and the enjoyment of each other's joys, as well as the mutual sufferings of each other's sorrows. It is the sharing of life together.

So what is the definition of community?
- Community is the place in which one finds themselves available to act in ways that are hospitible to those who are neighbor. This means we live for each other first, securing each other's lives before our own. It's as simple as mowing someone's lawn, fixing someone's breaks, listening to someone's problems, and simply enjoying life together.

The other criteria: there are no outsiders, all belong to the community.

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