Sunday, November 25, 2007

We are the community :: thoughts on local church

The Oxford Word of the Year for 2007 is locavore ::
“Locavore” was coined two years ago by a group of four women in San Francisco who proposed that local residents should try to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius.
This word has been buzzing around my head for a wee while now... ever since I read about [its been out for a few weeks now]... and I have been thinking about the implications for this movement with the kind of church I dream of.

I am convinced of two things when I consider the concept of "church" as a place we go [as opposed to who we are]...
  1. > Church [as a place we go] is essential to the well being and development of followers of Jesus. Fellowship expressed through the regular gathering and deliberate contact of like-minded people keeps us and maintains us... learning together... sharing together... serving together... worshiping together... praying together... This is community > intentional... incarnational and purposeful.
  2. > Mission [when the church looks outwards] is most effective when kept simple > building relationships & living out faith in the everyday situations that are presented to us.
The Locavore concept highlights a growing trend that places emphasis and value on all things "local" > supporting the [physical] community in which you live > giving back to those who give > maintaining those who provide for us > defined within an almost symbiotic relationship.

Church needs to be local. Our mission should be local > to the community [communities] that surround us and, in part, define us.

Local is inclusive not exclusive > We are the community > We are in our community but not of it. Local gives us shape and purpose... local provides clarity > community is defined in and with the term "local". Community is up close, familiar and personal... not distant, unfamiliar and impersonal.

Let's keep church close and keep it local.

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