Community seems to be a buzzword in Christian circles these days. The problem with the concept is that most people think they have a good definition of community without clearly understanding what they mean. Most of the time they have a single aspect or a part of the bigger picture. Our goal at SFC is to teach a more robust understanding of community and what it has to do with our faith. Below are some resources to get one started:
Introductory Books on Community:
Created for Community: Connecting Christian Belief with Christian Living, by Stanley J. Grenz There are very few people who can make theology accessible to the average reader. By introducing readers to the core doctrines of the Christian faith and encouraging them to connect belief with everyday life, Grenz introduces the biblical basis for Christian community. In many ways this is the primer for koinonia or biblical community.
Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer During communion this past Sunday, John Pattison shared a quote from this classic exploration of faith in community. Bonhoeffer’s story is about a unique fellowship in an underground seminary during the Nazi years and reads like one of Paul’s letters. It gives practical advice on how life together in Christ can be sustained in families and groups.
Great Introductory Book for Group Study
Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future, Margaret J. Wheatley (I have mentioned this book before, but it is worth a recommendation again!) “I believe we can change the world if we start talking to one another again.” With this simple declaration, Margaret Wheatley proposes that citizens band together with their colleagues and friends to create the solutions for social change, both locally and globally, that are so badly needed.
Going Deeper with Community
Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community: Eight Essays, by Wendell Berry The celebrated essayist and poet offers a collection of essays dealing with important social issues, stressing the importance of communities, the need for diversity in local economies, and the dangers of globalization.
The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture, by Jonathan Wilson -Hartgrove In contemporary culture, staying put—actively maintaining stability—is often looked down upon. Stability is the antithesis, according to this viewpoint, of progress and innovation. Wilson-Hartgrove disagrees and sets out to persuade his readers to reconsider their busy lifestyles. He suggests that by paying attention, we can recover the “wisdom of stability.” this” wisdom” is a key to building community.