Throughout the history of the church, there have been many examples of communal living. The early church lived communally, by eating together daily. They lived in separate homes but gathered together every day to share their food and lives. Community became part of their ministry to each other.
The monks of the early church lived communally and it was very, very efficient. In America today, communal living is frowned upon as being cultish; however, community living is a manifestation of the Body of Christ. It also has some significant benefits. When people live together and help one another, it’s highly efficient, both financially and in human costs. For example, if a group of people bought a 25 acre plot of land and subdivided it for the benefit of the group to build their homes on, there would be significant efficiency because they worked together.
If a group of people contracted with a farmer to produce all the food they needed, they would be able to purchase the food at below wholesale, instead of double or triple that cost (retail). If a group with some skills and financial resources purchased a business or developed one for the mutual benefit of each other, they would be able to reap the benefits of that business which would be greater than investing their funds or working as a hireling.
Beyond just working and living together, when we help and love one another and put others first, tremendous synergy happens. Synergy is the blessing and grace of God added to the efforts of the individuals. It is our mission to awaken the Church to the benefits of community, and the synergistic benefits of community and unity in reaching out to people in need.
With continued globalization, more and more people are going to “fall through the cracks of our society” in the coming years; it is apparent that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The “baby boom” generation is retiring and many of them are retiring with inadequate financial ability to live with dignity. The church will be challenged to assist both Body members and the world. Community living is the answer; through community, unity and the synergy (grace of God) found therein, the church will be able to play a significant part in helping people and winning them to Christ in the years to come.
© Copyright 2014-15, Paul K. Weigel – All rights reserved.