Throughout the history of the church we there have been many many examples of communal living. The early church lived communally, by eating together daily. They lived in separate homes but daily gathered together to share their food and lives. The monks of the early church lived communally and it was very very efficient. In America today, communal living is frowned upon as being cultish. However, community living is a manifestation of the Body of Christ. It also has some significant benefits. When people live together and help one another, it is highly efficient, both in human cost and financially. For example if a group of people bought a 25 acre plot of land and subdivided it for the benefit of the group to build their homes on, there would be significant efficiency to their working together.
If a group of people contracted with a farmer to produce all the food they needed, they would be able to purchase the food at below wholesale instead of double or triple that cost (retail). If a group with some skills and financial resources purchased a business or developed one for the mutual benefit of each other, they would be able to reap the benefits of that business which would be greater than investing their funds or working as a hireling.
Beyond just working and living together when we help and love one another putting others first there is synergy which happens. Synergy is the blessing and grace of God added to the efforts of the individuals. This is best demonstrated by the abilities of work horses. One horse can pull about 12,000 lbs of weight, but two horses working together can pull not 24,000 lbs as expected but 32,000 lbs of weight. There is a 25% increase in their ability and that is synergy. It is our mission to awaken the Church to the benefits of community, and the synergistic benefits of community and unity in the reaching out to the Lost.
In the coming years more and more people are going to “fall through the cracks of our society” with continued globalization it is apparent that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The “baby boom” generation is retiring and many with inadequate financial ability to live with dignity. The church will be challenged to assist both Body members and the world. Community living is the answer. Through community, unity and the synergy (grace of God) found therein, the church will be able to play a significant part in helping people and winning them to Christ in the years to come.