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Step Up 3 and real community

July 22, 2011

Yes, I just watched this movie. I will admit it. It was pretty good. What I enjoyed most about the movie was that it was a really good display of what true and authentic community can look like. Hear me out.

The movie is about a group of New York street dancers who take on a number of other hip hop dance groups to see who is the best in the world. But this group of dancers is different from all the other ones for a few reasons. One, they all live and train together in same house, and two, they each have their own dance style and all have different dance backgrounds. Luke, the leader of the crew, explained it this way

We all live and train here…around here, dance is your identity. We live together, work together, battle together. But unlike other crews, we all have a different style. I found all these guys out on the street. Crazy talent, but no place to go. We’ve become kinda a pseudo family here. Where we can be ourselves…

I’ve been on a journey recently (that I am going to be blogging about soon) towards organic church and experiencing real community lived out. It has all been theoretical up to this point, just reading books and having discussions with friends who are on the same journey. But one thing I’ve been learning is that it isn’t easy or simple. Why? Because we are human, because we are different, and because each of us brings our own backgrounds, experiences, and ideas.

In organic church there is a big priority placed on unity. However, there cannot be unity if the members of the group are not willing to lay down their views of how “church” should be done and instead allow Jesus to dictate what is going to happen. What if your group had someone from a Baptist background, Pentecostal background, and a Church of Christ background? They would all bring their experiences on how things should work and look. Just like the dancers in the movie, they know their way and their way works for them. But like the dancers in the movie, in order for organic church to work, people have to be willing to lay down their views for the good of the group. At the same time we have to be willing to accept people as members of the body even though they may be different from us and have different views. Why? Because when people accept Christ they are automatically made a member of the body. done. We accept them as members because he has made them that. Pure and simple.

In the movie, the group’s routines were made that much more beautiful by the fact that they incorporated every member’s type of dancing in the routine. It didn’t seem disjointed or fragmented. It flowed smoothly. They came together as a group, each one using their respective talents and skills to make the group that much better. That is real community. That is true church. A group that has placed Jesus and the group (the body) above themselves and is willing to lay down their beliefs, ideals, and views in order to see Christ glorified.

We need to see our faith in a corporate light instead of the individualistic light that is so common in America. Real community happens when the members of the group are more concerned with the group than with themselves. It happens when the members are able to look past each other’s differences to see the similarities instead. It happens when the group allows Jesus to be Jesus and be the head of the group instead of people in the group wanting or trying to take charge, have power, and lead.

Real community is a beautiful thing that from the outside doesn’t seem possible. And in fact it is impossible, apart from dying to oneself and allowing God to do what only God can do.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. emory permalink
    July 22, 2011 4:52 pm

    Jon, some would argue that your view of church is now “your view of church” and so you have to fall in line and get back to reality. Don’t listen to them. There are many stone-throwing denominational leaders who will pat you on the head and say, “there, there, now…those are nice ideas son, but those are just theories and nonsense.” I have been told this to me on more than one occasion. I had tried to network with others who want to plant churches, but they are more interested in top-down hiearchal power structures instead of grass roots discipling and Christ leading the church. Everyone wants you to do something for them.

    Let it all out. Let what needs to flow from your heart and your head hit the pages.

    • July 22, 2011 9:57 pm

      Thanks for the comment emory. I am excited about this journey and about blogging about it. I have run into a little opposition, but so far most people I have talked to have been encouraging. For the first time in a long time I moving towards something that makes sense in my heart.

  2. Shanda permalink
    July 23, 2011 5:38 am

    I’ve been writing a post about church and community in my head for a couple weeks now. It’s my plan to do the real writing of it on the airplane and/or sitting at a coffee shop by the beach in a few days… I’m likin’ your Step Up 3 connections.

    • July 23, 2011 6:53 pm

      Glad you liked it. I cannot wait to read what you have to say.

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