Thursday, March 1, 2007

A Tale of Two Villages, Part 7

In the movie “The Village” a small community tried - without success - to live in relative harmony with itself, and they had absolutely zero contact with the outside world so that they could insulate themselves from evil influences. The world did not even know that this village existed, and that is the way the elders of the Village wanted it. (If our churches disappeared would the world even notice it?) I will not spoil the plot, but it is full of surprises.

This movie was an extreme example of isolation, and I have never been in a church that was that isolated; however, I have heard some bizarre comments:

  • “Why are we involved in missions when we don’t reach our own?” The person who said this didn’t want to reach their own either.
  • “We want to have many congregations reaching every area of the city, but I don’t understand this focus on outreach?” This is my favorite quote.
  • “That city is saturated with churches. Why are you going there?” That city was at best 5% Christian but had several famous mega-churches.

In the Philippines there is a unique kind of community, a village, that is the exact opposite of the community in the movie “The Village”. I speak of the fishing village. Here are some simple characteristics:

  • The main goal is to live and to catch fish.
  • This village is a community built directly beside a body of water or even sometimes on bamboo stilts over the water. Why? Well… because that is where the fish are.

I think that you get the point. The church should not be an isolated group in a building. It should be community reaching community from within community. This is the Christianity that we all long to see, and I sincerely hope to reproduce it everywhere I go. To my friends in the Philippines … Thanks.

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