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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

NO ONE IN NEED
(Part 6)

THREE TYPES OF CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY


February 2, 2014


We have been called to the New Evangelization. This involves not just methods and processes of evangelization, but also structures for living out community life and mission. We have also been called upon to build the Church of the Poor. LCSC is about massive grassroots evangelization. NONe is about work with the poorest of the poor. How can such work be best promoted? What kind of transformation needs to happen in the lives of Christians so God can truly use them for such work? What kind of structural support is needed?

Generally speaking, we can speak of three types of Christian community­the “Christian” cult, the Covenant Community, and the Church of the Poor. What are the characteristics of each one? Please see the matrix below.

A caution: what is in the matrix are general indicators, values, principles, etc. They are not mutually exclusive. There is often no hard and fast distinction among all the elements of the three. They can overlap. The matrix is just intended to give an overview and a general sense of how these three Christian communities are to be defined.

The Christian cult is an extreme, but there are such communities in the Church. The covenant community is a much more typical association of like-minded Christians, focused on strong relationships and formation. The Church of the Poor is the ideal, and is the radical way of living the gospel.

With our Core Values of Centered on Christ, Having a Preferential Option for the Poor, and Being a Servant to the Church, we are going in the direction of the Church of the Poor.

"CHRISTIAN CULT"
COVENANT COMMUNITY
CHURCH OF THE POOR
love for self
love for brethren
love for others,
especially the least
gospel of prosperity
good news of community
gospel of the cross
peace for self,
not evangelistic
internal peace, occasional
forays to battles
fully engaged in war
zeal for personal well-being
zeal for family and brethren
zeal for souls, especially
seeking out the lost
joy in getting things for self
joy in ordered family
and community life
joy in suffering for the
cause of Christ
selfish
self-referential
selfless, self-denial
take more than give
give from what one can afford
give from one’s poverty
like gods to be served
serve as leaders
lead as servants
individualism
fraternity
solidarity
comfort of personal blessings
comfort of a Country Club
discomfort of a foxhole
What’s in it for me?
What’s in it for us?
(e.g., recruitment, emotional satisfaction)
What’s in it for Christ and his Church? (service without
recognition or reward)
more for self
enough for our family
and community
less for self, more for others

We do not want to be in the first category. We want to have the foundation of the second category, that of a strong covenant community. We want to enter into the third category, to grow into saints, martyrs and warriors in living the radical call to the gospel.

So onward to the New Evangelization. Onward to building the Church of the Poor.

* * *

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