Thursday, January 21, 2016

Lessons in community

The Golden State Warriors – reigning champions of the National Basketball Association – provide three lessons for creating and strengthening community, which Ed Frauenheim identified in his article, "Lessons from the Warriors" (Fortune, January 1, 2016, p. 16):

  1. Have fun. Too many congregations are not having fun. Declining attendance, financial struggles, seemingly unending conflict over priorities, policies, and programs can leave a congregation full of negative emotions that unintentionally discourage participation and growth. Healthy congregations are fun places to be to which people want belong and from which people derive great satisfaction. God created people to enjoy life, not to be miserable.
  2. Care for each other. Tragedy and pain are inescapable in every life. Few people, however, suffer great pain and experience large needs every day. This allows us to have the capacity to care for one another, which Jesus articulated as a basic tenet of Christian community ("I give you a new commandment: Love one another.").
  3. Cooperation is key. Everybody has ego needs; humans are hardwired to be self-centered. Nevertheless, nobody succeeds in living abundantly entirely because of individual talent and effort. Working together, people can achieve more than any person can achieve acting alone. The Apostle Paul's metaphor for this truth is the body: no part of the body can exist by itself; all of the parts are necessary; as a whole, the body can do absolutely wondrous things, none of which any part of the body can do by itself.

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