Friday, December 03, 2004

City Living

THIS POST IS PART OF AN OUTWORKING OF ME WANTING NOT JUST TO BE VISIONARY ABOUT CHURCH BUT TO BE PRACTICAL AND ANALYSE HOW WE CAN APPLY THE BIBLE TO THE SITUATIONS GOD HAS PLACED US IN TODAY...this post is not seeking to inspire you its more of a discussion on how to outwork the passion and vision God places in us through his word Seeing as Im definatly a country boy at heart living in the small town of Lostwithiel (Est. Pop. 2500) moving to the relativly large city of Aberdeen (Est. Pop. 215,000) I have been thinking as you guys probably have gathered about church and how God has called church to be more than sunday mornings, with pink wafers (not sure why I mentioned Pink Wafers there), Gods idea of church is for it to be a community of people who are accountable to and serve each other. Theres more, so click on the continue Reading link.. Now probably if you've not been in that model of church you can get a good idea of what it might look like from glimpses im sure you've had of spending time with people and loving them. Now I can understand how this works in a village or in a close environment (eg a church model in which everyone is in community) but in a city this posses loads of different questions (of which this post is not an answer to but more of a brain splurge vaguely in the relation to). For a start, Villages and small areas cultivate a culture of their own, you will know this if you've lived in one, basically a way to talk, and walk and behave. Cities do not have that they are all embracing, they have a massive range of people from a much wider background and this invites you to be yourself and create your own niche or genre. Great you might think, well yeah we live in a free country thats great but this encourages people to be individualistic and isolationist (self absorbed), in contrast a hard thing but possibly a good thing about a small village is that everyone knows you, from the time your born, people know your parents and your grandparents if you've lived there long enough, where as in cities you can dissapear and as opposed to where in a village your cirlcle of influence maybe a dot (you) in a circle (which is a symbol for your social cricle) in a city those social circle look like a dot (you) and a spirograph like pattern of different social circles... ...and before I came to Uni I thought that was quite unhealthy espeically in relation to church as far as having different groups of friends, this can really end up with you being different people to the different groups (something Im sure were all guilty of at some point), completly cutting down all concepts of being in church eg community, but Im slowly learning that I have to have different circles of friends, theres the guys in my flat, guys from my different lectures, the guys from CU, the guys from church and the guys from work (by the way by Guys I mean people not necessarily men, that would be an interestingly gender biassed life!).... ...and its a spirograph its crazy but I have realised that you can be yourself, you can be YOU as long as you are assured of your own identity and not too worried about being completly the perfect person for that group if you see what I mean, for example if I wanted to be more a part of the guys in the flat I would drink beer with them every night (which is not something incidently that Im condemning Im just saying that not what I do), If I wanted to be more a part of the CU guys I would go to church with them on Sundays but Ive realised God can call you to different social circles at the same time even though it often results in craziness, and the challenge is to be who You are in those social circles and try to reflect Gods Glory as much as possible... ...sorry I think was a random tangent but what im trying to talk about is church in city, because people in cities have all these different connections the question is, is there anyway of having good community within a city setting? A way in which its clear true community work is when people commit to each other in community eg. like Jesus and his disciples, im not saying that cities are bad because you cant emmerse yourself in Christian bubbles of friends but Im saying there needs to be community to effectivly out work the calling of following Jesus on your life. As without people to run the race with that out working is very difficult and cities I think encourage the lack of community to some extent... ...The lack of community, I think is why there is such a boom in new media eg internet communcation because we were made to belong to a group to fit in to some extent and so we long for this acceptance (which I would say does not alway come from an unhealthy place of insecurity) and so people dont get the community they crave in cities where everybody is doing there "own thing" running there own one man or woman ministries and people especially in a Uni environment are torn in loads of different ways socially as far as family and friends at hoime, friends at Uni, friends at work etc... well Im not sure if I communciated what I was trying to say there, I feel like I didnt to be honest but comment on your thoughts about church in the city and the practicalities of community in large urban be continued


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