Community, Social Justice, Giving and EvangelismLast time in part 1, I introduced the question "What if your church were so well off that everybody in the congregation had no needs?". I talked about a Christian community that I had contact with. In that context I'm going to talk about another community.
A Faith Community
I remember many years ago I came in contact with a Christian community that had established itself as a faith community. They had a house that that was offered to others for use for conferences weekends away etc. I’m sure they had other work that they did but I was not aware of it. I came in contact with them because of the house which I used for a weekend away for a Sunday school.
I was quite excited to come across them as the idea of a community that existed purely by faith. They believed God for everything; their food, bills, everything. It was a great weekend, so good that a couple of years later I decided to organize a youth weekend away at the same location.
When it came to making the arrangements I was a little dismayed to discover that the community no longer existed. Instead I was put in contact with a farmer with whom I left a message. The farmer’s first response was to contact my pastor very concerned that I was going off half cocked by wanting to run a camp on his property.
A bit perplexed by this response I went to visit him to try and reassure him. I was to discover that the real reason for the farmer’s reaction was because the community had left behind a reputation when they left.
Those that had taken over the farm from the community commented that even though they themselves are Christian they were not at all impressed by those that had gone before them. The community had left such a bad taste in the mouth of those that lived in the town because they had left with unpaid bills. The result was a lot of work on the part of the new owner to rebuild credibility for the farm. It would seem that in this case, being a faith community is not always honoring to Christ.
This is clearly not what talking about when I ask the question, "What if your church was so well off that everybody in it had no needs?"
In part 3 I look at the community of the book of Acts