Friday, February 18, 2005


I've been reading Larry Crabb's book "The Safest Place on Earth" on the recommendation of Marcus on The OOZE message boards. It is a typically excellent Larry Crabb book, but this one really has me thinking.

He spends a lot of time talking about spiritual communities - communities where people are authentic and genuinely love each other - not the pseudo-counseling claptrap so typically found in American churches. Crabb's book, coupled with the paradigm-shifting "A New Kind of Christian" by Brian McLaren, have really started a thought process within me that is leading in a direction that I cannot predict where it will go.

The community Crabb and McLaren describe is almost utopian in its function. I long for a community where people are transparent, authentic and think the best of each other. I can't imagine what it is like to go to church and not have to be guarded in what I say because I may offend someone and have my statements thrown back in my face by someone they gossipped with.

But how do we build this community? Is this only possible in a Spirit-led church plant where you can clearly spell out the expectations at the outset? Can an existing community be led to this style of relationship? If anyone out there has any experience with this, please email me and describe it to me. I'd like to think my dream can become reality.