|The Call to Build Community|
|Written by Sherry|
|Tuesday, 14 August 2007 10:19|
I had a fascinating and fruitful conversation yesterday with Roz Deiterich, an ID reader and occasional commenter, about our experiences of Christian community in anticipation of our Building Intentional Community Day at the end of this month.
Roz raised an excellent question: are some among us specifically gifted by God to give themselves to nurturing a kind of Christian community that is centered around mutual discipleship? Do some of us have a call to facilitate the "pursuit of God in the company of friends?"
As I thought over my own limited experience of transforming Christian community and of course, all that we've learned from helping tens of thousands of Catholics discern their charisms - I had to say "yes! absolutely!
And I thought back on all the people I had know who had felt such a call and how each call to foster Christian community had looked so different in practice but all had born enormous fruit in the lives of other people.
But in the absence of a compelling vision for what real Christian community can do: draw the unbelieving and unchurched, foster life-long discipleship, spiritual growth, discernment of gifts and vocations, and extraordinary apostolates, how many of us hear the call? How many of us recognize that we may have charisms of pastoring or hospitality or leadership in this area? How many of us grasp what is at stake?
What's been your best experience of Christian community, large or small? An experience of community that fostered your lived relationship with Christ? How did it change your life?