Communalism or Community
NEO House Church Network encourages the whole church to experience the dynamic of fellowship. The New Testament word for fellowship is “koinonia” which means the “sharing of all things”. Koinonia is generous and is fueled by love. When we promote community the idea is to have the many relationships that constitute NEO House Church Network operate in a-joy filled generosity that opens one’s life and resources to others. This is not legislated but flows from the heart. No one should “bind the conscience” of another saying your generosity must look this way or that way. No one rightfully has the spiritual control over another person’s assets or property. Generosity is always voluntary. Boundaries are important in “super-charged” spiritual environments where there can be pressure to do one thing or another. A group value must be to protect personal boundaries so no undue influence can be exerted over property or major life decisions. A strong emphasis on community has the potential to attract many healthy people who are envisioned with the ideal of a shared life or even co-housing. Dependent personalities as well as overly-controlling authoritarian personalities can also be attracted to living in community for different reasons. Dependent people are comfortable deferring life decisions, controlling people are all too comfortable in taking the reins of other people’s lives. Leaders must be on the lookout for both extremes and properly protect the weak and correct the controlling. When co-housing is practiced everyone maintains their individual property. Yes we help and serve. Everyone carries their own weight. There is no common pot for money
While we need to remember the cautions there is still very much the Biblical value of community that walks in koinonia.
In Acts chapter 4:32-37 we see an example of the overflowing generosity of community:
Now the full number of those who believed were of kone heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but mthey had everything in common. 33 And with great npower the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and ogreat grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for qas many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and rlaid it at the apostles’ feet, and sit was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means tson of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
In Acts 5:1-4 The personal property rights of the individual family is protected even in the midst of a contagiously generous environment:
But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge vhe kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and wlaid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie yto the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but ato God.”.