Tuesday, April 3, 2007

How to form community

Last night was pretty cool. David and I played his Wii for a while. I've played the Wii a few times and I'm really not impressed. It's really Gamecube 2.0 and the most entertaining part of it was just how terrible the games are. Caveat: I haven't played CoD3, Metroid, Red Steel or Zelda yet, but Wario Ware and Wii Sports are really awful. I was laughing just because it was so bad.

I made some rice pilaf and steamed veggies, but I totally burned the veggies. Nicole brought some chicken in from Costco because cooking something would have taken forever.

Jeff showed up and we ate and played more on the Wii.

Josh and Serena came and we did some Wii bowling while screwing around and talking. Robert came in and kicked me while I bowled.

For some reason we started talking about what our group is going to be, and I don't know what really happened after that. I just intended on hanging out and just getting the community going, especially since half the group wasn't there (they were playing music somewhere). I didn't want to decide on what the group would be when half the people didn't have a say. I don't think anything was decided, and I think if someone thinks something was decided they're probably wrong.

You see, it's hard to do something like this because we have conditioning. We don't know how to do this because we're so used to having this structure. It's comfortable, it's like when you knew what to wear to certain events, you even knew when it was going to begin based on what type of event it was. Things go in cycles. Every generation creates their own rules and the next generation breaks them - and then creates their own.

It is probably just me, but I have issues with the structures I'm so familiar with, no matter how comfortable, because I find it hinders intimacy instead of encouraging it. We get tied into achieving goals, not growing closer to each other. We're trying to accomplish something where in spirituality there isn't any accomplishment. You don't reach an end and that's it, you just change. But we need to change in the right way.

A plant grows in the direction of light. We need to be in the light to grow towards it. When we cover the light we are retarded, and we don't grow in any correct way. We don't need an artificial light either, we need genuine sunshine.

I'm not saying we don't need structure, I just think we need our own structure built from our community's needs, strengths and weaknesses. We can't use a prefabricated structure, we can't xerox blueprints, we have to build from nothing. We start with a foundation (Luke 6:48) and build on top of it (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

When I was in Poland, Nicole and I were part of a workshop on creating organic fellowship. "Organic" is the key. It lives, it has its own life. It feeds on what makes it healthy and stays away from what is harmful. It grows. It feels pain. I have more to say on this next week when everyone is there.

The leader of the workshop used a picture of Peter walking on the water. The boat the Disciple was in was his safety in the storm. It wasn't fail safe, vessels do sink, but he had a much better chance of surviving the storm within the boat than without. But Peter left the boat and only while he was focused on Jesus. The boat was used as the picture of the church, and inside the boat was the known structure of the church. This isn't to say we need to leave the boat or that the boat is bad, but when you're in the boat you can lose your focus on Jesus and not sink. It takes faith the be out in the world, touching lives and getting dirty. We need to focus on the Savior.

I'm reading Blue Like Jazz right now (and I'm almost done). Don Miller has a chapter devoted to community. He says when you live together you get under each others' skin. We are called to share our lives together. We're called to love one another. We don't always like each other, but we are called to live with each other, share our lives in a vulnerable fashion, and love each other.

I'm usually good at taking a complex statement and putting it in one sentence, but this thing is way too complex to even explain clearly in several paragraphs. I think it's vague on purpose.

After we did all this talking, David, Jeff, Robert and I did some more talking for a while, we watched the Colbert Report, and then we sort of went to bed.

I read the next chapter in Blue Like Jazz before I went to bed. It was a chapter on tithing.

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