The consumerist mindset of autonomy, flexibility, merit and personal preference is poison to church life (not to mention family life and society at large). Mutual submission, relational commitment, grace and the pursuit of the common good are radical concepts to most Westerners but they lie at the heart of what it means to belong to Jesus' family. Yet many Christians drift in and out of churches missing out on what it means to belong to one another, and then complain that their church experience failed to meet their needs.
I've been thinking recently about what intentional community might involve. How can we build relationships and a common life that doesn't simply mimic the cultural pattern in which we swim? Kyle over at Vindicated has been posting a series on the "monastery without walls" his church has begun. Worth a read, even for those of us who might not be militant Anglo-catholics.
1. Introduction: To De-Pimp and Re-Monk the ChurchTen points for naming the building.
2. Monasticism and mission
3. Monastic values
6. The Abbey and the Wider Church
7. FAQs I
8. FAQs II
9. FAQs III
10. Afterword: Monastic Thoughts