old ideas, new visions

about three years ago i ran across somthing that caused me to think greatly - and it had a very powerful impact on who i was and how i saw a faith community. thye were the "10 vows" set forth by vineyard. recently, jordon, andrew, alan and others have been bring up the vows and starting to talk about them again - and that is very cool. while i am still in process concering the idea of "communal" living [and i tend to think it's a cool idea] i think the "vows" are centeral to a community, no matter the style.

simplicity - a frugal and focused life.
community - a shared and stable life.
worship - a God-centered life.
study - a transformed life.
work - a productive and creative life.
service - a generous life.
hospitality - a welcoming life.
justice- a socially active life.
sabbath - a renewed life.
celebration - a joy-filled life.

each of these are powerful and refreshing reminders of what it means to live in community. i think these are very important - but i fear that people will take them and turn them into a "program" - and that is not very cool.


Chris Kirk said...

I really like those vows. Recently, we started an experiment in communal living. Five of us gave up our jobs at a large church, committed to pursue a new way of following Christ, and moved into the same house. (You can read our story at www.thenamelesschurch.com) So far, it has been a powerful experience as God continues to stretch and shape us as we live in community, as well as allowing us to live more simply and more financially feasible.

The hardest thing I have found so far is the complete embracing of new values (or vows). It is one thing to theoretically discourse about what we'd like to be, and quite another to actually become that. We have found that we're continually dropping off baggage from our evangelical past, in order to take on the values that God has put before us. It's an amazingly painful journey at times, but the rewards (I say so in faith) will be great.

Chris Kirk

Ian said...

I understand your fear of the vows becoming program. Even in my mind as I was reading them I began to separate them out and I saw vision of a church taking those apart and making a ministry based on each of these vows, giving leadership, meetings, flyers, branding, marketing, etc. to these vows making them nothing more than a cog in the church machine.

I see our modern mindset having a lot of difficulty with holitic living, at least the average modern person does. This idea that all of those vows intertwine, are woven in and out of themselves, that they are wrapped up in each other and are not easilty separated is a really cool idea to me.

I'm with Chris on our Journey of living in community and living out a new expression of church. It is challenging and were finding that the values that we are visioning are not merely individual, autonomous values described by one way or one definition, but each has many words, ideas, etc, folded up into it. Hopefully we will have that expressed as we begin to articulate those values publicly.

Anonymous said...

i think those vows are too challenging to become a program... just reading and thinking about them makes me think of my life and the way i live it and how much i need to change- it's slightly overwhelming.