I'm currently reading a book entitled "The Safest Place on Earth" recently written by popular author Larry Crabb. It's an important book that many of us have been waiting for long!
Dr. Crabb has pointedly described the widespread problem of "unspiritual community" in the church. He wrote, "More often than not we are disappointed. Why? Why is spiritual community - "church" - high on so many people's list as a major spiritual problem? The question is no respecter of persons: young and old, men and women in the pews and pastors in their pulpits, long-time Christians, new Christians, and not-quite-yet Christians. The question ranges across denominational lines."
People are longing for true spiritual community. We have had enough of loneliness, independence, and competition. In building true spiritual community in the local church, Dr. Crabb advocates for turning away from managerial and leadership skills that are held important in our culture. He invites us to return to the biblical and actual conditions in which true spiritual communities exist.
One lesson I learned from Dr. Crabb's book is that community is aroused by passions in its members. And passions are not easily managed. They cannot be reduced to principles or boxed by rules and regulations. He said:
"It is still tempting to try to manage community because it matters so much. We don't want to trust Someone else to get it right. We work at our marriages by carefully following principles of communication and strategies for conflict resolution ... But soul care and all relationships are spiritual activity. Good relating that stirs life in another, whether in counseling, family, or friendship, depends on the Spirit and cannot, therefore, be managed, because He cannot be managed."
That lesson means a lot to me. Until that shift happens, the community we all long for in our families and churches cannot happen.
This is just one of those major things I got from the book. There is much more. So, take a hold of this wonderful book while you still have time to live a better Christian life!