There have been some very interesting responses to the blogs on mission and community. The basic question has been, "Do we have community at the expense of mission or vice versa?" If we have an outward focus, does community suffer? If we concentrate on community, will we neglect mission?
Someone put it well: they are two facets of the same gem.
Here are some random thoughts:
- "Spirituality" is not what produces community. Community has a natural component (sharing the things of ordinary life together). I.e., the fact that we have a common reason for being together–the person of Jesus–doesn't create community. It does have the potential to make it far deeper. Community doesn't happen automatically; it can be created.
- Jesus' mission was to bring freedom to a world held in bondage to sin and its consequences. Right at the beginning of his ministry, he described that mission as bringing good news to the poor, freedom to those who are oppressed, and so on (Luke 4:18-19). He sends us out into the world with that same mission (John 20:21)
- Both community and mission should result from listening to Jesus and doing what he says. Jesus lived in community with his disciples–they shared the ups and downs of everyday life together. But Jesus was compelled by love–the heart of the Godhead–to reach out to the world.