What is Community?
Why is true community so hard to find? I was talking with my brother-in-law last week and we were discussing the differences between Mid-western Wisconsin culture and Mexican culture, which he grew up in. He said one of the big differences is the greater extent to which people just hang out with each other in Mexican culture. It is not planned or organized. You just get together and do things together. He said there is a word for it in Spanish: Convive – “co-living”. You live your life in community and decide to do things together.
Then he thought for a minute and said that Mid-westerners do that too – it’s just usually limited to teenagers or college kids. You get together on the fly and just hang out. If one person is going to the store, then everyone goes to the store, and then maybe everyone will go to a movie or go to a park and hang out. I think of the difficulties involved in doing that with five kids, and I think, “Yikes. Forget it.” But I think it’s something we long for. We want to have that true sense of community.
If church is going to be authentic, this is what our church communities ought to be like.