Jesus and Community
I just read somehting in this book that really struck home. In the introduction Lohfink talks about a mobile pastoral unit that operated in West Berlin in the 1980's. It was comprised of a car, a short wave radio, a priest, a psychologist and a physician. They would patrol around ready to serve needs of various individuals.
The author didn't see this as a good thing because it nurtured peoples consumerist attitude toward Churches. I'm not even finished with the introduction. I had to stop and ask myself what the main thrust of my ministry efforts is going towards. Am I in customer service or am I interested in the Kingdom of God? No doubt the two are held in tension. The Church (big C) should take care of people for sure, but I'm really interested in this new layer that Lohfink suggests: we can do it in such a way that encourages people to participate in community, rather than leaving them in the gutter of individualism. Thus we will avoid being a supermarket church where people can come in, shop, grab what they need, and then go back on their merry lonely way?
How have you seen a church help someone in a way that nurtures community? Ideas?