NO ONE IN NEED (Part 6): THREE TYPES OF CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

NO ONE IN NEED

(Part 6)

THREE TYPES OF CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY

 

February 2, 2014

 

 

We have been called to the New Evangelization. This involves not just methods and processes of evangelization, but also structures for living out community life and mission. We have also been called upon to build the Church of the Poor. LCSC is about massive grassroots evangelization. NONe is about work with the poorest of the poor. How can such work be best promoted? What kind of transformation needs to happen in the lives of Christians so God can truly use them for such work? What kind of structural support is needed?

Generally speaking, we can speak of three types of Christian community—the “Christian” cult, the Covenant Community, and the Church of the Poor. What are the characteristics of each one? Please see the matrix below.

A caution: what is in the matrix are general indicators, values, principles, etc. They are not mutually exclusive. There is often no hard and fast distinction among all the elements of the three. They can overlap. The matrix is just intended to give an overview and a general sense of how these three Christian communities are to be defined.

The Christian cult is an extreme, but there are such communities in the Church. The covenant community is a much more typical association of like-minded Christians, focused on strong relationships and formation. The Church of the Poor is the ideal, and is the radical way of living the gospel.

With our Core Values of Centered on Christ, Having a Preferential Option for the Poor, and Being a Servant to the Church, we are going in the direction of the Church of the Poor.

 

“CHRISTIAN CULT”

COVENANT COMMUNITY

CHURCH OF THE POOR

love for self

love for brethren

love for others,

especially the least

gospel of prosperity

good news of community

gospel of the cross

peace for self,

not evangelistic

internal peace, occasional forays to battles

fully engaged in war

zeal for personal well-being

zeal for family and brethren

zeal for souls, especially seeking out the lost

joy in getting things for self

joy in ordered family and community life

joy in suffering for the cause of Christ

selfish

self-referential

selfless, self-denial

take more than give

give from what one can afford

give from one’s poverty

like gods to be served

serve as leaders

lead as servants

individualism

fraternity

solidarity

comfort of personal blessings

comfort of a Country Club

discomfort of a foxhole

What’s in it for me?

What’s in it for us?

(e.g., recruitment; emotional satisfaction)

What’s in it for Christ and his Church? (service without recognition or reward)

more for self

enough for our family and community

less for self, more for others

 

We do not want to be in the first category. We want to have the foundation of the second category, that of a strong covenant community. We want to enter into the third category, to grow into saints, martyrs and warriors in living the radical call to the gospel.

So onward to the New Evangelization. Onward to building the Church of the Poor.

 

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