April 11, 2021: Episode 90 | Speaking of Communes
The message that sparked the conversation ... What It Means to Be a Family.
How long could you last sharing a house with another family? What if it were 2 other families? Join us in a conversation about the early church, hippy communes, and living as a community of believers.
(1) What would be your reaction if a commune of Jesus-loving hippies moved into your neighborhood? The commune is led by a husband and wife in their 20's, with a young son. They're successful musicians with a lot of money rolling in from royalties. They bought 2 houses on your street and rent 5 others nearby. In their 7 houses, about 70 people live as an open "family," a motley crew of ex-bikers, unwed mothers, homeless teenagers, and ex-drug-users, whose lives are still somewhat out-of-control. They have a pot-luck meal on Friday nights followed by outdoor concerts with personal testimonies and baptisms in the swimming pool at house #6. They knock on the neighbors' doors, ask for prayer requests, and extend invites to next week's potluck. As a neighbor, how would you feel about this?
(2) That's a true scenario drawn from the life of Keith and Melody Green (see the book, No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green, by Melody Green). The Greens had been caught up in the secular Southern California music scene of the early 1970s, drug-using, free-loving hippies. Then they met Jesus. Keith became one of the best-selling contemporary Christian artists of the time. He and his wife Melody used their success to bless others through communal living. Later, Melody wrote, "Those were powerful times and innocent times. We just did what was in our hearts to do." What's the closest you have come to a "communal Christian" experience?
(3) What would keep you and the Christians you know from pursuing communal living? What intrigues or inspires you about it?
(4) In Acts 4:32-35, we hear a description of Christ-centered, communal living. As you listen to this passage (and the events leading to it), what's a word or a phrase that stands out to you?
[For the larger context, read Acts 3:1-16; 4:1-24, 31-35]
(5) Listening to this, what are you getting to know more deeply about God's work through Jesus and the Holy Spirit?
(6) How are you hearing good news in this?
(7) What do you want to say to people in your household, congregation, or neighborhood?