Thursday, November 09, 2006

I no longer call you slaves

The concept of community is huge in the emerging church discussions. People are called to live in authentic relationships with one another. I believe that this is, in part, due to the way that Gen-Xers were devastated by divorce and how so many of us were latch-key kids. There is certain a basic desire of the human heart to have community, it is part of the imago dei, but in our generation this desire is heightened. We see Jesus building a community of twelve disciples with a special bond with three of them and we desire the same. I wonder if the desire that we have goes beyond community and the generic use of "relationship" and is really pointing to friendship. As Jesus was preparing his disciples for his eventual death he made many bold statements that were out of step with his culture (John 15). One of them is that he change the nature of the relationship between himself and his disciples from slaves/servants/disciples to friends. In a sense he calls them equals! What we are truly in need of are friends. I like what Doug Pagitt said recently on his podcast. He talked about how he doesn't need an accountability group to make sure he keeps his commitments, but rather needs friends with whom he can live out this life of Jesus. Billy Calderwood has a recent post concerning who a pastor confess to, which is a continuation of another post on the same subject. I think that the answer to that question for all us, pastors and non-pastors alike, is to have friendships. We don't need official church confessors, we need deep open friendships where others can see into our lives and speak prophetically. In a sense, authentic friendships form the basis for the exercise of the spiritual gifts, but that is a bit beyond the scope of this post.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Good having lunch with you today Pete. I'm looking forward to some good posts.