church, community and huggles

church, community and huggles October 20, 2013

huggle cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
“Huggle” (by nakedpastor David Hayward)

I believe in the the power of authentic community because I’ve experienced it and experience it still.

One of the church’s greatest potential assets is community. Of course, where we may most succeed is also where we may most fail. But I have experienced the power of authentic community in a church context, and really there’s nothing like it. I have heard of similar experiences in AA and similar 12-step programs, as well as other religious and interest groups. If you’ve experienced true community, you are spoiled for anything else. Right?

I am often misunderstood as someone who has been so damaged by the church that I have become its enemy. That is so not true! In fact, in the last church I pastored, a Vineyard church, I experienced a level of community so rare few people understand what I mean. It not only spoiled me for anything else, it also motivates me to continue talking about community and helping to create and support it wherever and whenever I can. I believe in it and wish more people could experience it. It is possible!

The Lasting Supper was launched last year simply as a resource for people transitioning spiritually. However, it very quickly turned into a community. With over 300 members so far, it is one of the most powerful experiences of community I have ever enjoyed. Even though it is online, we do have meet-ups and are even planning a big one in April, 2014, to meet in Las Vegas. These people have become my primary community. I want to know what love is. I do know what love is.

If you want to be a part of it, I invite you to join. You can check out a good sampling of all that goes on by clicking on this link. I will warmly welcome you, along with all the other friends there.

(Acquire a reproduction of this cartoon!)

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