One of Gateway’s small groups in the central Austin region has been going through Vince Antonucci’s Guerilla Lovers: Changing the World Through Revolutionary Compassion. We had an insightful and powerful discussion last night on the issue of community vs. communitas.
Antonucci makes the following distinction to make his point:
“In community people bond, but the reason they’re together is self-interest. It’s ‘community for me’ not ‘me for the community’ as it is with communitas…. In communitas our purpose for bonding is to have a life-altering adventure we can engage in together.”
When have you experience true biblical community or “communitas” as opposed to what we have falsely claimed to be “community” which is more about a place to “huddle and cuddle”?
One of the exciting aspects to the discussion and the next steps includes a genuine move on the parts of our small group towards serving each other and serving others through our networks. A network is made up of several small groups who come together to grow and serve through monthly events called Crowded House as well as through opportunities to serve .
Here is the official definition of a network: “a community of groups and individuals who serve holistically and grow spiritually as they do life together, tied together by cause, neighborhood, or affinity.” A shorter version is that “a network is a group of people who are the church to each other and to the world.”
Networks are where people are cared for and have the opportunity to care for others.
When have you experienced “communitas” rather than “community”?