Friday, 4 November 2011

Christian community - is it worth it?

Should I continue to live in Christian community, sharing my money and possessions with my friends? Sharing my living space, my bathroom, my car, my kitchen, my meals - my life? Is it possible to live this kind of lifestyle long-term? Does it work? Is there a better way to live out my faith in Jesus? What are the other options? Am I cut out for it?

Is it me?

Is it what God wants for me?

These are some of the questions facing a friend of mine who is living in Christian community with us.

(For those who don't know, I live with thirteen other people in a big house. Fellow Christians aiming to live out the teachings of Jesus in daily life together. Part of a much bigger UK-wide Christian community. See here for a bit more info.)

Anyway, my friend. He's coming to the end of his temporary stay in community (two years in his case, but for some only one year, for others maybe longer) and he's thinking through whether he wants to commit to living like this longer-term.

I recently sent him the questions below, for him to ponder, to help him work out where he stands and what he wants to do.

Are there any other community aspirants out there? How would you answer these yourself? You might find these questions helpful pondering material, whether you're new to community living or been living it for decades. Or even if you're just considering whether you should give it a go (come and stay with us if you want).

Feel free to pick a question and answer it in the comments for this post. 

  • What made you want to live in community?
  • If you had to liken your time so far in community to a certain type of food, what would it be, and why?
  • In what ways have you grown during your time in community?
  • How do you think you have contributed to the life of the community since you have been here?
  • What have been the best bits and what have been the challenges along the way?
  • If you had to liken your current experience of life in community to a certain type of car, what would it be, and why?
  • What are you enjoying about living in community at the moment? What are you finding tough?
  • If you had to advise a someone of roughly your age, who was in the same position as you (stayed two years, considering longer etc), what would be your advice?
  • If you had absolute power, what would you change about our community, and why? What would you keep the same?
  • If you had to liken your future in community to a certain ripeness of banana, how ripe would it be, and why? [Actually, forget that one, it ain't working... ;-)]
  • Do you see yourself continuing to live in community over the next year? 3 years? 10 years?
  • What do you fear about community and the future? What inspires you about it?
  • What is your vision for your household? For our community? For our church as a whole?
  • Why do you want to continue living in community?
  • What has God said to you about community?
  • If you had to convince someone that you were ready to commit yourself to community longer-term, what would you say?
More information on community: for keen readers, follow these links:
New Creation Christian Community (the lowdown - incl. a few books on the subject)
Living Radical (a blog on community living)
Man with the mop (another blog on community, from a different angle)
Reasons for living in community (a very good blog post on the subject)
Flame Leaflet (Jesus Fellowship leaflet on community)


Sibyl said...

I lived in community for a short time but it was the most amazing experience I had ever had. I loved the fact that I had people who cared about me and vice versa. I loved the fact that I contributed and made a difference in other ppl's lives. But most of all, I loved that I had nothing materialistically yet everything I ever needed. I wish I was still there and as hard as it was, it was well worth the 'pain'. However, being married in community is much harder than a celibate. Yet, one can do nothing without God. So pray and seek guidance.

s0upy said...

Thanks Sybil. It is hard at times, and yes there are different challenges for married people, with or without children, compared to single people. Yet the call to Christian community is as much for married people as it is for singles, and many couples find the smooth far outweighs the rough.

My friend is single currently but who know what may happen in the future.

Thanks for the comment. :-)