Transient Faith Communities

            I am awed when my mind grabs at brilliance.  The other day I was relaxing in the shower, which is what macho guys like me do, building  lather with my Satsuma Orange soap from the soap store in the mall and WHAM! I got a brilliant idea.


Carol writes on the rubs between the emerging generations and the boomers in her book Tribal Church.  Chapter three of the book goes into detail about the broad differences between “us” and “them” and the economic hardships that we [emerging generations] face to sustain the standard norms that our parents employed.


The costs of education, housing, and general subsistence all have increased in dramatic ways and the salaries we receive have stayed flat.  This has lead to some different mechanism that we have adopted in order to survive.


The idea of communal living or “tribal” living makes sense and is a very attractive option.  I am finding my way towards conversations that take serious stock into communal living or simple living.  This is a matter of necessity and not a hippy convenience to reclaim what was once lost.  For many of the individuals I have spoken to communal living is the only way they can still eat and maintain a roof over their head.


The falling economy has made a transient class of people all the more convinced to not maintain traditional roots.  The systems in place have failed us by large.  The institutions our parents and grandparents no longer hold the same meaning and relevancy for us than they once did.  The church is not the place to be, it sits on the fringes of culture in many cases it meagerly hang on to life and provides hospice for those that have always been there.


My brilliant idea is not the above information.  My orangey soap inspired dream is this, “What would a faith community look like that modeled the transient nature of the emerging [millennial/ Xer] generation?”


Imagine a faith community [church] that lived in a way that it expected to have a shelf life of a few years that model the transitory nature of this elusive generation.


I started to tease this out with Mere. 


“We would need to diversify and empower all within the community to lead in some manner in order for the community to be self sustaining.”


“What would that look like?  What function would the minister play?  Would there be a minister”


Hmmmm, I think there is room for a minister to empower and lead via that action.  If the community formed and reformed in a similar manner to the expected transition period of every 2-4 years we would need to employ a system that recognized and engaged folks rapidly within the community to lead and connect the community intimately sans a traditional membership model.


The community may not want to establish with a building in order to remain fluid and flexible to meet the needs of the changing dynamic that worships with in the community structure.  They would also need to remain connected to disseminate information.  I see a website, blogs, twitter, and Facebook as essential tools to connect the rapidly transforming community and bring it outside of itself.


Those that self identify with the community may continue to do so absent physical presence in the local space it inhabits.  Rather the community may plant the seed of spiritual entrepreneurialism and depart with each new gathering and thus the community moves beyond itself staying connected [rooted] to each other as transformation exponential happens.


This is a utopic vision that I hastily put together. I ask you, “What would a faith community look like that modeled the transient nature of the emerging [millennial/ Xer] generation?”

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