I have been reading Richard Rohr on Simplicity
and he discusses how community happens as people head in the same direction.
The concept of community has always been important to me since reading the early days of David Watson, Keith Green and many others where community living often seemed to be connected to significant moves of God. In my work I have often been at fault of trying to encourage community and in the process stifle it (something Rohr discusses). As I look back at times when I have moving in the same direction with others there has been a real sense of community but without the communal living sense. Still now even years later I know there still people dotted around the world (an extended community) who although I may not have seen in years I would be confident of seeking out if I needed help, I would have no qualms about turning up on their dorstep at 2am. This includes some of the young people who maybe would be seen as the receipents of mission, but were in effect co-creators of community. FYT has always been another part of this extended missional community as we follow the missio dei.
The direction we were heading together was always missional, and this sense of community extends to people who even though I was not working directly alongside were heading in a simular missional direction working on the other side of the country but who I would still count on. Before I was employed by FYt this was how they fitted, but in reality the relationship sense of community has not changed, I just see them more often.
For most of the times whilst I was in these extended missional communities I was in a church, but there isnt anyone from those friends I would be so confident of dropping in on drunk or in need. As I reflect I wonder if this because the churches never had a real missional DNA, (they had other priorities and diversity of directions to travel in) and was my community the by product of following the missio dei (heading in the same direction). Perhaps our extended missional community was church as it was intended to be?
Even now I have people around me who are following the missio dei and all the time new people are added into this extended missional community my hope is that they too may feel confident to drop in me unexpectedly or to ask for help in needed.