Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Intentional Christian communities

When I first heard about intentional Christian communities, I thought, "Yeah, right - there can't be too many of those around." But it's one of those things where once you hear one described, they suddenly start popping out all over the place.

Intentional Christian communities are groups of Christians who commit to living together, often under a covenant. They vary in size and purpose, but they do tend to share some characteristics. For instance, many of them are experiments in living the Acts 2 community, meaning that they share some or all of their money and possessions in common, have regular prayer times and meals together, and do acts of hospitality in their surrounding communities. Most of the time, these communities are for single people only, though I have met married couples (with children sometimes!) who live in intentional communities.

I bet there are some reading this thinking: hmmm, this sounds an awful lot like monastic orders - Benedictines, Franciscans, and that sort of thing. Funny you should think that, because there is a loose coalition of several of these intentional Christian communities that consider themselves to be part of what they call the "New Monasticism." And, often these are not Roman Catholics joining these small communities (as sometimes people think) but Evangelical Protestant Christians!

I write about these communities here because I think they're one good place for single Christians to find a good community and engage in all the communal practices of Christianity without feeling like one must get married.

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