Real Life Community: Jean Vanier

One of the disappointments of pastoring is when members who once were gung-ho about the church slowly pull away. A quote from Jean Vanier, the founder of the L’Arche communities suggests one possible reason for some people’s disenchantment with community…

“Almost everyone finds their early days in a community ideal. It all seems perect. They feel they are surrounded by saints, heroes, or at the least, most exceptional people who are everything they want to be themselves. And then comes the let-down. The greater their idealization of the community at the start, the greater the disenchantment. If people manage to get through this second period, they come to a third phase–that of realism and true commitment. They no longer see other members of the community as saints or devils, but as people–each with a mixture of good and bad, darkness and light, each growing and each with their own hope. The community is neither heaven nor hell, but planted firmly on earth, and they are ready to walk in it, and with it. They accept the community and the other members as they are; they are confident that together they can grow towards something more beautiful.”

Amen.

About reallifepastor

I'm a pastor who's working out her faith...just like everyone else.
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