The Quest for Community

Someday I will hold up my Bible before a congregation, shake it, and yell at the top of my lungs, “This is not a book about propositions and programs and principles. This is a book about relationships.”

The church, not Hollywood, ought to be the world’s greatest image factory. The greatest image in the world, the image that draws people into real, life-giving relationship, is the image of God in Jesus the Christ.

I want my community

One of the favorite words used in the context of the Web is “community.” eBay is in the business of building communities, they say; theirs is less an information source than a social medium.

The paradox is this: the pursuit of individualism has led us to this place of hunger for community, not of blood or nation but communities of choice.

More than buying and selling, the electronic emporium is about posting messages on bulletin boards, discovering new friends, and launching relationships at the eBay Cafe. One user said, “eBay is bringing people together to do a lot more than trading goods. We are trading our hearts.”

Don’t laugh.

eBay may just be the closest experience of small-town America available to postmoderns. Where else can they find people with similar interests (whale oil lamps, in my case)? Where else can they be drawn into community around a single purpose? Where else can they tell the stories most central to who they are and find people eager to hear them? Where else can they participate so fully and have their lives changed by the experience?

Nowhere else.

Except, perhaps, the church.

And isn’t that what the gospel is all about?

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Leonard Sweet

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Yea! You fixed it!
 
— Mr. Troy Reynolds
 
I just discovered this today and am looking forward to exploring the content on here. It looks like it could be very helpful. Just an FYI - in your paragraph on not putting out B+ material you have a typo. A little ironic. :-) The third sentence begins with "You time" not "Your time."
 
— Troy Reynolds
 
I'm lost, to say the least! As a new pastor, taking over a newly started church I have read just about everything there is to learn what I can do to grow the church. I truly beleive that those attending our church are friendly and sincere. So that can't be the issue. I have read all the comments to this article and I feel that most churches will never have a fair chance! We are a VERY small church, so we don't have a children's church (yet). So if a family comes and gets upset that we don't have a children's church for them to put their children into, we lose! We do provide things for their kids to do during the service and even have an option for their kids to be in a different room, if they don't want their kids to sit with them. We are also such a small church that we don't have a worship team/band/etc. Our worship music comes from music videos. The congregation we do have likes it this way, but of course we would love to have a worhsip team. So, if someone comes to our church and is upset that we don't have live music, we lose! The point I am trying to make is that when people come in with preconceived ideas of what a church should be like, they will never find a church home, unless they find a church who's goal is to entertain! Every Sunday our message comes from the Bible, so that can't be a complaint for someone, so instead, people leave the church and never come back because they want more from a church: they don't want friendly people who are following the Word of God; they want a church that give them something (a babysitter for their kid, entertainment, free gifts, etc.) I'm sorry if sound cynical, I truly want everyone to hear the Good News and learn about Christ's love, but if they come in looking for something else, then the church will always lose!
 
— JAG
 

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