Resources for Intentional Communities – The Mistakes We Make

Saturday was community house meeting day. Once a month Kirk and I. And our housemates gather at the local Timmies, take care of any house business, and learn a bit together about intentional community.

This Saturday we discussed the mistakes we’ve made in communities past and present. We talked about the need to “seek to understand” rather than to just jump in and try to correct a situation. We talked about how radical hospitality can be scary as we step beyond our comfort zones and invite people we might formerly avoid into our lives and home.

I shared about my over-responsibility, my tendency to do more than I should. It’s my love language (which is service, if you didn’t already guess) that spins out of control from time to time. But doing for you what you can do for yourself can communicate that I don’t think you can do it, and can be disempowering. And then I do more than I should, and I get tired and cranky. Ask my husband how fun I am to be with when I’m cranky.

Chris Heuertz, in his book Unexpected Gifts, shares with searing honesty about his epic fails in life together. It’s a vital resource for intentional communities, and a great read.

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I read another great blog by Lindsay Hamby this week about the sacrifice involved in intentional community and wanted to share it with you.

Sitting with Jesus, eating that stupid piece of bacon, He showed me that everyday living in this house I am faced with a series of choices: I can pretend that I am entitled to a certain amount of space and quiet – calling on my rights as a member of Western Culture – disregarding the fact that most of the rest of the world shares less space and less food with more people, and forgetting that I actually belong to a Greater Kingdom. I can ignore the prodding in my spirit towards generosity and seek my own provision and comfort. I can fake a smile, hide in my room, and secretly pray for everyone to disappear.

Or I can embrace the tension. I can acknowledge that my discomfort is revealing deeper sin and let it be confronted by love and mercy. I can allow the Holy Spirit to stretch me, to make me more like Jesus. I can look my doubt and fear straight in the face, over and over, a dozen times a day. I can make the most of this crowded season, because the reality is, that without these beautiful human beings all up in my space, I would continue living blissfully unaware of how far I am from true dependence on Jesus.

You can read the rest of it here.

There was a lovely spirit of humility around the table at Timmies as we shared our failings and vulnerabilities. We committed to loving truth telling, and helping one another when we feel weak. I was reminded what a rich experience intentional community is, and how much I love it!

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