A friend posted this quote on Facebook. It’s too good to pass up. I have nothing to add to it. I just want to tell you it’s from Larry Crabb. I haven’t read any of his booksin over 20 years, but this quote got me thinking that maybe I ought to go read him again!
Churches are rarely communities. More often they are social machines that run smoothly for a while, break down, then are fixed so they run smoothly again or noisily chug along as best they can. The invitation to greet pew mates during the early part of the worship service typically leads nowhere. It’s often nothing more than a squirt of oil on the gears. You could state your name was Bob or Howard or Rita or Sue and it would make no difference. Those kinds of interactions rarely create community – they more often substitute for it. The path of the Spirit is so very different. It’s narrower, steeper, and straighter than any other. It’s a path traveled only by worshipers who celebrate their dependence on God and each other by turning their chairs toward a small community of friends and sticking with them, and who find the power of God’s Spirit to make community work. They know that God gives them his Spirit and works miracles both in them and among them, not because they cleverly make it happen, but because they revel in their dependence and learn to hear the Spirit’s voice.