World’s Apart

Posted: March 16, 2013 in Book Reviews

The Connecting Church 2.0

A Review

Randy Frazee

 9780310494355

Community” has been a buzzword in churches for quite some time. What hasn’t really been agreed upon is exactly what “community” means. Many of us probably have a more nostalgic perception when it comes to community. Maybe we sort of develop a mental image of June Cleaver leaning over the white picket fence taking a break from hanging the family clothes on the line on a breezy summer day to chat and catch up with the neighbor.

In effect, “community” has become complicated. We, in our fallen, human nature, have attempted to develop endless strategies to achieve a goal by incorporating the wrong plans. We have strived for this by running full tilt in the exact wrong direction. We have been “trying” and “plotting” and “scheming.” And, it all comes up radically short. We become frustrated and disillusioned. Why? Because, as Frazee demonstrates for us, it was never meant to be some sort of a Mount Kilimanjaro to be conquered. Community is much more about the community than it is about us.

Frazee contends that for the most part, community, in the modern sense of the word has undergone an identity crisis. It has morphed into a place where people’s insecurity and sin can go and hide and receive enablement without being challenged. It is a safe place to go and receive fuel for your codependency. There is no fear of legitimate rebuke. That is starkly contrasted with the biblical sense of community where Paul took it as his personal responsibility to admonish the apostle Peter when he was clearly behaving improperly (Gal. 2:11-14). Community is to instead be a place where we need one another; where we depend upon one another; where we genuinely care and love one another. It should be a place were we each feel comfortable in our own skin.

Today’s independent, consumerist mentality has all but destroyed community according to Frazee. We have a sense that we don’t really need each other. And when that happens, we fail to communicate to each other. And when that occurs, we built up impenetrable walls, which separate us and isolate us from our neighbors.

While not everyone will necessarily agree with Frazee about how possible it is to develop community in our day by reversing the trajectory of a decades long mass exodus to the suburbs from the urban areas, but one thing is certain, he makes you really think and re-think your motivations and attitudes. And, that to me is worthwhile. Even if it really isn’t possible to latch on to every point that he makes in how to develop authentic community, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we cannot attempt many of the helpful insights that he offers to help us develop better fellowship amongst one another and help us grow closer to Christ together.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Cross-Focused Media for the free copy of the book for me to offer this unbiased, balanced review as well as Zondervan Publishing.

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Comments
  1. Matt,

    Thanks for contributing to the blog tour.

    Shaun Tabatt
    Cross Focused Reviews

  2. […] “While not everyone will necessarily agree with Frazee about how possible it is to develop community in our day by reversing the trajectory of a decades long mass exodus to the suburbs from the urban areas, but one thing is certain, he makes you really think and re-think your motivations and attitudes. And, that to me is worthwhile. Even if it really isn’t possible to latch on to every point that he makes in how to develop authentic community, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we cannot attempt many of the helpful insights that he offers to help us develop better fellowship amongst one another and help us grow closer to Christ together.” -Matt Boutilier (spirituallywired.wordpress.com) […]

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