Living in Authentic Community is something I want to experience. After seeing glimpses of it, I want more! It is something Rachael and I discuss on a frequent basis, and at length most times.
What does it look like? How do we do this?
Honestly it’s a bit scary to sit with it all.
So what is Authentic Community?
Living in Authentic Community, in my mind, simply means; Aligning the Expressions of your Spirit, with the way you live.
The idea that the ache of your Spirit and Soul that God put in your body at the moment of conception, to be in community, to live in a family, to have close friends, all is played out when living in a truly Authentic Community.
A life that is all in. 100%. Not 98% or 99%. YOU must be fully known, AND be ready to know others fully.
To see their dirty laundry, and share yours. Cry when they cry, to ache when they ache. And to speak into hard places when the Lord is calling you to dig in.
Easier said then done, right?!?
This is what Authentic Community is all about.
How do I live this way?
Addictions, pains, offenses, bad habits, are all seen, open, raw. Living in this type of community you have to be fully present, and fully transparent.
You need to bring your full self, ready to be seen by everyone around you. Not the person that hides from past hurts, not the person who struggles with addictions in the dark. You can’t hide from anyone. You need to be fully seen.
Just as the Lord knows the number of hairs on your head, so does this community you are entering into. They need to now who you are, fully!
It’s not as easy as it sounds.
You need to lean in. You need to be present. Not on the phone, not watching TV, not busying yourself with tasks or even cleaning, you need to be here, present, in the moment, always! You need to share your shit, hear their shit, and lean into those deep dark places that most folks won’t ever go.
Tim Keller in a Sermon on Proverbs and friendship states that the marks of a true friend are constancy, carefulness, candor, and counsel. These mark exactly what we are to do when living in an Authentic Community.
Constancy: We need to be present, we need to constant and we need to be there for our community at all times.
Carefulness: We need to enter in fully, but we need to be careful with our tongues.
Candor: This goes hand in hand with carefulness. We need to be blunt, real, and open when living in this community. We must be all in, and willing to call out others in love, and likewise, to be called out in love.
Counsel: We need to give and seek out wise counsel. The Lord will guide you in this if you allow it.
Is that enough!?!
I didn’t say it was going to be simple, or even easy, but the fruit that comes from living in this community is life changing. It’s something I am working on doing wherever I am. It’s a daily struggle, but the life change is huge, and the benefits far outweigh the cons.
I will leave you with this word:
Acts 2:42-47 speaks of Authentic Community at it’s core – 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Also published on Medium.