Not too long ago, I was pretty much a loner when it came to church stuff (blame it on my Meyers-Briggs score). Go to church on Sundays, do the worship thing, take Communion, sit and watch all of the other people talk to each other, further my reputation as the “guy who watches too many wierd movies,” and file out the door afterwards. Since getting married though, I’ve found myself slowly entering an actual Christian community, and it’s been an interesting process.
Sometimes, during my more cynical days, I think of “community” as yet another one of those terms that church-ified folks love to throw around despite not having a single clue what it means (other terms in this category include “Spirit-filled,” “convicted,” “Christian liberty,” and “led by the Lord”). We love to talk about it all the time. So much so that we don’t have any time left to actually have any.
Then, on other days, when I’m not feeling so cynical (and if I’m really honest, not being so dang analytical), I realize that community means any and all of the following:
- Having dinner together with friends and neighbors every week
- Looking after your neighbors’ kids when they’re in a bind
- Videotaping a dance recital
- Helping a friend move
- Shovelling the neighbors’ sidewalk just because you can
- Picking up someone from the airport (and then picking up their spouse)
- Getting together to celebrate birthdays
- Giving people free reign to borrow CDs and DVDs (hey, noone said it’s an easy thing)
- Letting them borrow your shovel when their car gets stuck in the alley
- Borrowing sugar and eggs
- And any other number of acts that are actually, when you get right down too it, frightfully mundane and boring
Which is probably what makes it so rewarding and exciting: that these mundane and boring tasks and activities can, and actually do become something much more sacred and profound (even though you still have a sore back from the shovelling and it might be several months before you get your CDs back).
Of course, some folks take this whole community idea way too far.