Day 16: Gospeling each other, the idolatry of the nuclear family, and balancing family & community

IMG_3123 This is Day 16 of 31 Days of Intentional Community. Thanks for reading along!

I've written on intentional community here on the blog before, and rather than re-hashing some of those posts, I wanted to link to a few of them today. These three posts are honestly three of my favorite posts I've written because they are along a theme so close to my heart and they expose the real challenges of living a life of community.

Intentional Community

First up is a post where I first explored this phrase, and also where I reflected on the idea of "gospeling each other," both of which were inspired by a couple of books I read and a discussion held at my church with an author/pastor named Steve Timmis.

Steve talked about his gospel community being simplyΒ ordinary people, living ordinary life, but with gospel intentionality.

And yet, outreach, and being intentional about it, was talked about not as a particular event, a program or anything like that, but rather just part of life.

Me living my life in a way that makes others curious.

There are some great comments on that post as well, so I really recommend reading it if this idea intrigues you.

The Idolatry of the Nuclear Family

Shortly thereafter, I wrote another post about community-- possibly one of the most important posts I've ever written, and one that I need to go back and read periodically myself. Sometimes we choose to cater to our families needs and withdraw from community-- sometimes out of necessity (so we don't infect our friends with our kids' snotty noses for example) and other times I think we use the family's needs as a crutch.

Dare I say, we idolize the very family God has given us to nurture. This isn't unusual-- the most commonly made idols are good things placed in a higher position of priority than they should be.

Again the comments on this post are really insightful. Head to the post to read more of my thoughts on this tendency of ours and how it practically plays out for my family. We ourselves are not without struggle in this area, mind you, as you'll see below.

Blueberry picking with friends! One of my favorite early summer traditions. @ Temecula Berry Co.

On Balancing Family and Community

I wrote this post almost a year later, continuing the conversation. As the members of our family grow and change, our struggles and challenges obviously vary as well. When I wrote this post, I shared my own struggles with trying to find this balance. It's a big questionfor sure, and something where I'm sure we won't have a definitive answer... maybe ever!

I’m struggling with finding the balance between being community-minded, while also forming a tightly bonded connection in the hearts of the five people (and specifically the three little people) that live in our home.

I'd love for you to read the post and share your thoughts in the comments there (or over here).

We are so thankful for other families that we have -- folks to walk through life with who are asking the same questions and seeking to glorify God as we try to love Him and others. We spur each other on in both our family life and parenting as well as encourage each other in our

intentional community button 250.jpgJust asking these kinds of questions is such a good exercise for my soul! Do you struggle with this balance between intentional community and family life? If you are willing to share any ways you have found that help you be intentional in both of these areas, we would be grateful.