Randy Frazee has written a very good book about being Church in the fuller sense …
Frazee begins with a short history lesson about the forces which have prompted the need for books like this, which help us understand how to reclaim that early sense of true community:
Individualism, Consumerism, and Isolation:
These three forces create the environment where we now need to relearn how to live in true community. Frazee’s detailed and clear analysis of these forces will be thought-provoking reading for anyone.
Then he describes a new vision of church, one shared by many of us where the church is a true community, rather than just an entertainment center, baby-sitting service, spectator experience, or worst of all, a place where we go because we think we have to or need to and a place where we are alone in the midst of others.
…. and it is not centered around buildings or programs, but around relationships. Most of what Frazee recommends is based on the model of the earliest Christians.
Frazee describes this as “… a community of believers who are committed to a common purpose, a common place, and common possessions.”
To form a truly effective community, Frazee suggests five characteristics be present. a brief listing with his definitions follows:
“In these relationships (interdependent), individual choose to make their resources available to others instead of choosing to consume all they can for themselves …”
2) INTERGENERATIONAL LIFE:
A place where “… the various strata of generations spend both structured and spontaneous time together.”
Frazee talks in detail about how our modern devotion to small group activities and segmented marketing has led to an unhealthy division of the generations, which needs to shift back toward older multigenerational models.
Yes, it does take a village, or a community to raise a child …
This is not about a strong Sunday School program, but about “… the responsibility to help parents care for, nurture, and train their children …”.
This flies directly in the face of our modern mindset to mind our own business when it comes to other people’s children. This also presupposes that the community has a commonly accepted set of standards for behavior which are then reinforced by all members.
Responsibility is simply giving priority to “… serving and caring for others.” This extends both to those who are members of the community and those who will never be members.
The ultimate goal here, according to the book is “the place where responsibility towards others is a higher priority than standing up for our own rights.”
This is the hard one …
As part of community, we are “called to dig deep into who we are and what we have so that in the end we become depleted in a significant way for the sake of someone else.”
That is pretty clear … it’s not about us, it’s about others.
I find much to agree with and much to desire in Randy’s description of true community.
I hope these few snippets have engaged you to further explore this excellent book about connection, collaboration, and community.
If this sparks your curiosity, check out The Connecting Church 2.0 by clicking the title above.
By the way, a Happy Easter to everyone from the Heartland ….
Disclaimer: I received a promotional copy of this book for review before the official launch which is today. I am buying two more copies: one for my minister and one for me, because the first copy is so heavily marked up. As always, I only give reviews of books which I feel have value.
- The Connecting Church 2.0 … (strategiclearner.wordpress.com)
- Book Review : The Connecting Church 2.0 (stevenruff.wordpress.com)
- Review: The Connecting Church 2.0 by Randy Frazee (beverlylynnt.wordpress.com)
- Who’s doing this well? (andcollegeministry.com)
- Coming Together for Good Friday (lifeofprchurchandeverythinginbetween.wordpress.com)
- Like a Good Neighbor – Am I There – resources (debbiemcdowell.wordpress.com)