I attended a recent retreat at the Morland House in Barnesville, led by Brian Drayton, called "Speaking About Christ Among Liberal Friends."
Near the end of the retreat, Brian asked the question: What are the aspects of the Christ life that are unique and have community dimensions? He answered as follows:
1. Nature of the Gethsemane experience. This is faithfulness without hope, when, like Jesus, you can't see at the moment the end result of your suffering. Drayton also called it "risk taking."
2. Canaanite woman story: In this story, Jesus at first refuses to heal, then is taught by the Canaanite. Drayton called it "teaching by being teachable."
3. Thankfulness--gratitude for blessings. This is not uniquely Christian, but a good thing to infuse into our church or worship groups.
4. The attitude of the footwashing: the teacher serving the student. Servant leadership.
5. The "foolishness" of the gospel: a willingness to follow a leading even if it feels naive or foolish to do so. The ability to risk looking ridiculous.
For living in Christlike community, Drayton suggested:
Following concerns that are prompted by the Holy Spirit.
Practicing conflict resolution. Settle conflicts rapidly.
Affirming gifts. Hold the group in prayer.
If I remember the Abbess's blog correctly, she advocates many of the same things. Now I am curious: What do you think about Brian's list of unique Christian characteristics that can be applied to community? Can you think of others? Do you have practical examples of implementing any of these?