Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We Not Me Confession: A Hypocrites Dilemma

I have a confession to make. I am a theorist on the 'we not me' question. It goes like this. I now theoretically fully agree with the notion that Christianity is a 'we' sport, that I should live for community, embrace community, be committed to hanging with the 'unhangable', be community orientated in my thinking. Yes, yes, yes. But sadly the truth is that I deeply struggle with it. Perhaps it is the introversion of middle age hitting me? Or is it, as I suspect, the struggle of most westerners. You see, we have been raised to be individualistic, to be private, to question, to internalise, to think 'me' not 'we'. It is the same with materialism; I despise it, but am a keen participant. I am not good at it however and so am not rich. But I want to be! I deny it, but I am a bald faced liar. Every day, without fail, more times than I admit, I think about money and what I 'need' it for. It is the same with community. I cherish 'me' time. I groan when this lovely community minded woman at church promotes another hospitality event. You see we have this lady who is a zealot for this stuff and she is brilliant at it. But deep down I don't want another Sunday lunch, fellowship event, fair or church working B. I want to do my thing. So, I am really one of those people Jesus called out 'hypocrite' to. I hate to admit it but it is true. I am a 'me minded' plonka in a world that needs 'we minded people' to lead the way.

My observation as a pastor was that many are the same. They are not community minded. The Gospel grips them and they realise that they should be. They become concerned to see community and promote it. Others get excited by it. But then when community comes, it is too hard, it costs too much, they are ill equiped to manage it, so then they fall back from it.

Still, I usually love it and embrace it when I am in it. Like Parachute. I hate it, and I love it. I hate it because of the heat, the hassle, the crowds, the exhaustion, the speakers who are usually average (not all!); it is a struggle. But then it is always great when I am there, an experience I won't forget. So, there is the dilemma of community for a me man. How about you? What is your experience? How do we get on the solution side of this one, cause I am theologically convinced, we have to.

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