Individual and Community?

9780310277675_1Last week I reviewed Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin’s newest book, The Bridezilla of Christ: What to do When God’s People Hurt God’s People. If you read that review, you know that I was not impressed by the book. But what if you are looking for a book on church community, is there a better one?

There is a book I’m currently reading that I think answers that question. The book is Scot McKnight’s A Fellowship of Differents: Showing the World God’s Design for Life Together (Zondervan, 2014).

McKnight’s book is not focused on conflict, it is focused on discovering how all kinds of different people can be in a community where each person is complemented while complementing the whole community.

He uses the image of making a salad. He says there is the America Way, where everything is thrown into a bowls and smothered with salad dressing. The problem is that everything ends up tasting like salad dressing. He says the right way is to assemble the salad ingredients and, instead of salad dressing, add just a little bit of good olive oil. The olive oil “somehow brings the taste of each item to its fullest” (14). The salad is good because each individual piece is brought it its full potential.

That should be the goal our churches. The whole is strong when each individual is strong and able to contribute to their highest potential. Our goal shouldn’t be to gather people together and smother them in “salad dressing” so that each person’s individuality and unique background, skills and calling are forced to be a single flavor.

So how do we do that? How do we allow each person to fulfill their highest potential while retaining the community? McKnight is going to give us some suggestions that we’ll look at next week.


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