This explanation of what I would like to see in a dream community is an extract from the upcoming Manifesto that is NOT for Wimps. I was six months since I finished the last version but I was not happy with it. There was so much more that I wanted to include in it. Maybe that is why it has grown from 210 pages to 320 pages.
This explanation of my dream community has been percolating for years but this is the first time that I have committed it to print. It is based on what I saw at the Historymaker’s Bible School held in London as an outreach program from the Embassy of God church in Kiev. It has been adapted bit to reflect what I have seen work here in the UK.
For once this is not a dream in the sense that this idea did not come to me as a dream. I just started writing out all the things that I wanted to see in a community that helped others and the text below was the result.
Borrowed from The Manifesto that is NOT for Wimps
Imagine a Christian community that worked together to meet the needs of the community around them. Some knew how to earn more money than they needed to survive and gave the remainder to the community’s projects. In fact loads more money so that they could fund many different projects. They had enough money so that they could follow the example of John Wesley and give away 90% of their income. Some were project managers running projects. Some worked in the projects serving individual people. Some were bookkeepers, some were IT experts. Some did the admin.
They did this so that they could run a range of projects that worked together to help people in need. Someone came into contact with the community by going to the café. They then met people who were support workers who hung around the café waiting to talk to people in need. The support workers then acted as signposts to other projects run by the community. This might be the job club or the furniture restoration project that also helped to restore people. As the support workers identified more needs they found ways of meeting those needs. These could be projects run by others that they had listed on a database of trusted sources of help that they could point people towards. Or it could be that they recognized the need to set up a new project so pointed out the need to other members of the community so that someone could do something about it.
The fact that some members of the community knew how to earn the necessary money to run the community meant that they did not have to worry about how to pay the project managers or anyone else who needed financial support to play their part in the community. Not only that, but some people knew how to earn enough money in such a way that they had the time to work in one or more projects.
Everything worked together. Even the housebound had a role as they were the prayer warriors and without their support everyone would find fulfilling their role so much harder. Everyone had a role to fulfill as there were as many ways to serve others as there were people.
The strange thing about this community was that its members did not all go to the same church on a Sunday. They had some minor differences. Some broke bread together others said Mass, some attended Eucharist, some had communion services. Like any other group of brothers and sisters they were not identical but loved each other and worked together towards the same aim of doing what made their Father happy. In this case it was providing a support system to the people around them.
Although their focus was on serving others there was also time and space for them to focus on who God is and what He has done for them. There were many different ways they did this. Some focused on visual experiences but those who preferred to do this with their other senses or used other ways were not forgotten. They loved and accepted each other so much that there was considerable give and take about how they connected with God.
Some Christian communities do a lot to serve the people around them but there are few if any that have managed to reach this kind of level. Yet this is just the tip of the iceberg as behind the scenes is a training centre. This is where the people who have come in struggling are helped to become the people who help the next generation of people in need who approach the community for help.
As people work on creating a new life for themselves they are helped to learn to read if necessary. Any other gaps in their education are filled as well. They are supported as they learn to manage money better and find new ways of earning money. Their home goes from just orange box furniture to one full of comfortable items that are not necessarily new but that build their self-esteem. They have all they need and their home is a place where they want to live.
Life is easier because they have learnt the practical skills that once made it harder for them to have a comfortable life such as doing the laundry, cooking for themselves or gardening. They even have the opportunity to experience a complete restoration so that the underlying issues that have caused them problems are resolved.
That is some community but it is the best that I can do to explain what I would like to see from something like Lily’s Place in action.T
That is some dream. Does it sound good to you? If so it is time that you signed up to read the journal every week (Well I add something at least 3 Fridays out of 4). Sign up below to be sent every new journal entry.