Spring 2017 – Transforming Community
A transforming community is a group of people gathered around the presence of Christ in order to be transformed in His presence so they can discern and do His will. Working from the model laid out in Life Together in Christ, the sessions are primarily focused on the practice of group spiritual direction, or sharing with others and then listening to God for one another.
In the book, author Ruth Haley Barton suggests:
Community is the most overpromised and underdelivered aspect of the church today. Equally overpromised and underdelivered, and just as disappointing, is the promise of spiritual transformation. It is possible to hang around with other Christians a lot, meet regularly for worship, study our Bibles, join a church and even call ourselves a community but not change at all in ways that count.
Transformation and community are integrally related. It is the lack of spiritual transformation within individuals and systems that causes communities to falter and sometimes implode or explode. And it is the lack of community— a privatized approach to transformation that fails to see other people as necessary instruments of God’s grace— that limits the work of transformation in our lives. If we can bring these two dynamics together in transforming community, a spontaneous combustion will begin to take place.