Intentional Christian Communities: A Thing of the Past?
by Al Tizon
Well, are they? Did they disappear along with the hippie communes that cropped up in the late 1960s and 70s? Undoubtedly, many Christian communities came and went during that time period, but koinonia, the experience of deep fellowship in Christ as a counter to privatization, individualism, materialism, and consumerism, is an enduring Christian virtue. As such, many Christians continue to form themselves into intentional communities to grow together in the practices of the spiritual disciplines, simplicity, peacemaking, and compassion for the poor in society. Mennonite activist David Janzen has perhaps done more than anyone else to document this movement in North America. His forthcoming The Intentional Christian Community Handbook: For Idealists, Hypocrites and Wannabe Disciples of Jesus is his latest offering. His earlier work Fire, Salt, and Peace, which is now out of print, surveyed almost 30 Christian communities in North America. How has Christian community changed you and your life? Is this an idea that is still relevant for today's believer? Let us know by leaving a comment below.