The Calling to Christian Community
Christians are drawn to intentional community for a variety of reasons. Some have read books or articles about community, others may have met someone or visited a community. A few simply read the New Testament with fresh eyes and seek to imitate what they see there. The Spirit of God is calling all people to deep and lasting relationships. Intentional community has proven to be a durable model for Christians to grow together in love.
Nurturing Communities Network was established to provide resources for intentional communities at all stages in their development, from start-up communities to long-established groups.
The books below have been foundational for NCN communities. Many of them were written by founders or leaders of Christian communities as diverse as the Bruderhof, the Church of the Sojourners (San Francisco), Rutba House, and the Missional Wisdom Foundation.
Seven Foundational Books on Christian Community:
Called to Community
Charles Moore (editor)
This book is both informative and practical―written with a short chapter for each week of the year. Designed to spark conversation within a group devotion setting, readers can dive deep into community together. … This book delves into the nitty-gritty details of Christian community living and encourages readers to confront the dissatisfaction stirred up by its challenging pages. Though not a light text by any means, this book is ideal for those seeking to approach Christian community more intentionally and comprehensively.
More Great Reading…
Eberhard Arnold and Thomas Merton, Why We Live in Community (Plough, 2014).
Elaine Heath and Larry Duggins, Missional. Monastic. Mainline.(Wipf & Stock, 2014).
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (Fortress Press, 1938).
Dorothy Day, The Reckless Way of Love, Notes on Following Jesus (Plough, 2018).
Dallas Lee, The Cotton Patch Evidence (Wipf & Stock, 2011).
The Bruderhof are a wealth of practical and theological information on Christian living.
Shalom Mission Communities (SMC) is an association of five Anabaptist-inspired intentional communities with shared convictions and practices.
Missional Wisdom Foundation is out of the Methodist Church and is trying to experiment and support alternative ways of being church and intentional community.