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This Community

September 27, 2011

I think the churches of America might be doing something very wrong. In the Bible we see churches meeting in people’s homes; we see people so involved in each others lives that they took their possessions and sold them for their brothers. This is what people that argue that the early church practiced communism simply don’t get: all the money didn’t go into a communal fund. It was given by individual members to other individual members as they saw need. They knew and loved each other on an individual basis.

Originally the name of this blog was going to be “Three Strands.”

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
–Ecclesiastes 4:12

But this name wasn’t quite right for a number of reasons. First, distance keeps us from completely fulfilling all that the verse implies. It’s hard to stand with someone against the challenges of life when you can’t even speak to them face-to-face. Second, the fact is I don’t know Adam Swensen nearly well enough to be that kind of influence in his life. I really have never taken the time to develop a deep personal relation ship with him like I have with Tim, and I regret that. Last, if we had called ourselves “Three Strands” it would have implied an inward focus; it would have implied that the purpose of our blog is to help each other when in reality this blog is an effort to love all of you, the readers.

Maybe that means we’re practicing what I’m trying to condemn here in this blog: maybe we’re substituting loving the faceless masses for the individual love we really need to be striving for. I don’t think so, though. The moment I see the blog displacing that individual love in me is the day I quit. But this is why we’re so eager that you readers actually put forward at least a small amount of effort in being involved in this blog. Not only does it provide great encouragement to us, but it also gives us the opportunity to love on that individual basis, and that’s of greater impact than any monologues I could ever conceive.

This is my challenge to those of you that know Adam and Tim: be the second and third strands that I cannot be because of geography. Love them. In fact this is my challenge to the Church as a whole: find two or three individuals and just love them. Don’t replace individual love with programs and scheduling.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
–1 Corinthians 13:13

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrea B permalink
    September 27, 2011 11:29 am

    This is definitely a timely post for me. I’ve been thinking about Christ’s command to “love one another” from John 13:33-35. Pastor Scott mentioned this passage Sunday and it’s been on my mind. It is so easy to let the busyness of life take precedent, that we quit really “loving one another” and when we do we lose out on the life God intended for us to live.Thanks! I love you, Adam B!

    • September 27, 2011 11:33 am

      I love you, too, mommy!

      • Joshua Schouten permalink
        September 27, 2011 2:33 pm

        It is encouraging to see another Man of faith who is willing to take the term community seriously and literally. I am on a path the involves me leading a church one day and this is something that has been heavy on my heart. I completely agree I believe we have become conformed to the individualistic nature of the society we are living in. The challenge then is to be transparent with the people around us. We know that it is possible to get hurt by doing this but it is an essential beginning step.
        -Praying for community, Josh Schouten

      • September 28, 2011 12:39 pm

        Ooh, Amercian individualism and narcissism. That would be a great subject for a future blog. If you read anything good or gain any new insights on this subject of community, let me know. It’s one of those things that seems simple until you actually start trying to apply it.

  2. September 27, 2011 2:37 pm

    keep it up, guys. i’m looking forward to getting to know you three better as well.

  3. Cole Swensen permalink
    September 27, 2011 11:13 pm

    So here I am. A homeschooler who has no neighbors and lives at a camp where all of his friends are Christians.
    While I don’t have many opportunities to love unbelievers, I do have many opportunities to love the body of Christ! A body cannot exist with just hands, feet, and eyes. There has to be a respiratory system. I (and many others) can be the fresh current of love to the “more active” members of the body.

    • September 28, 2011 12:37 pm

      You totally get it, man. Christianity is about elevating God in whatever situation he’s put you in. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek out opportunities to give Him glory in non-mundane situations, but that’s shouldn’t be our constant focus.

  4. Mel permalink
    September 28, 2011 12:16 pm

    This is amazing! I will take the challenge to love a few people hard-core, and will keep Adam S in prayers and lift him up with encouragement!!! love reading these blogs!

  5. Dad permalink
    September 29, 2011 2:41 pm

    “The only thing that counts is faith working itself out in love” The Holy Spirit via the Apostle Paul

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