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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Communitas; the new community

I have mentioned Alan Hirsch's new book "The Forgotten Ways" here before. I want to take a moment and touch on an "issue" he brings up in Chapter 8. But, before I go there I must mentioned that Alan set the stage for me earlier in the book. In Chapter one he opened the chapter with a quote from J. Oswald Sanders.

"A great deal more failure is the result of an excess of cation than of bold
experimentation with new ideas. The frontiers of the kingdom of God were
never advanced by men and women of caution"
This quote caught my fancy so to speak. Alan makes a statement when he wrote

"The most vigorous forms of community are those that come together in the context
of a shared ordeal or those that define themselves as a group with a mission that
lies beyond themselves - thus initiating a risky journey. Too much concern
with safety and security, combined with comfort and convenience, has lulled us
out of our true calling and purpose. We all love adventure. Or do
we? This chapter (Ch 8) aims at putting the adventure back into the
venture." (Pg 25)

This has been my calling for many years; exposing the huddle and cuddle types to the edge of discovery through adventure. Building teams through wilderness experiential education is my passion. I am jazzed to see someone calling for adventure to come back into the mindset of today's church. Alan goes on to make his excellent point in chapter 8.

What I find interesting is that there is another book that I have mentioned here on SBH. That book is called the Danger Habit by Mike Barrett. Mike's book deals with his struggle with the passion for adventure and how that passion has always seemed to be in conflict with mainstream Christianity. He has at times been made to feel like his passion for adventure was some how sinful and that he was broken (as not right in the head) for wanting and seeking such adventure as a christian.

It is my belief that while the church has developed the huddle and cuddle mindset, the world has done an end run around the church stealing today's youth away from the church. It is common knowledge that if a church can not bring in the youth of today it will not have a congregation tomorrow. Once we realize and accept this huge issue of today's church, we can understand just how important the message is in both of these books. The youth of today are creating the opportunity to adventurously prove themselves whether society is ready for it or not. This can been seen when we look at juvenile crime stats and the growth of gangs in our society. This can also been see by the hordes of youth leaving the boring huddle and cuddle churches throughout America. If the church of tomorrow wants to still be around, today's youth are demanding a divergence from the safe and boring talking church to a adventurous doing (missional) church. We can go to our graves safely, or we can go forging a fruitfully risk filled future. The choice is ours.

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