Thursday, August 09, 2007

Communitas vs. Community

This is part two of Welcoming People To A Place Where They Can Explore Their Beliefs, or as another Ad says A Place For Your Belief. I woke up today thinking about yesterday's post and about the difference between community and communitas. See earlier posts on the books by Hirsch and Frost (The Shaping of Things To Come; The Forgotten Ways; Exiles) where they go into more detail about communitas and its missional other-directed definition or extension of what is usually meant by community.

When we advertise, and structure ourselves, to be "for" the person who is looking for our community it is easy for our communities to turn into places "for" that person and the one after them and so on. When they should be "for" the ones who aren't and maybe probably never will be "in our community." Community belonging and caring and sharing is important as a process of creating leadership for the purpose and toward the end of creating greater community with those who will always in some sense on one level be "other." This kind of community which grows out of a sense of mission (rather than the community coming first and then trying to find a mission to do) is what is known as communitas.

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