I was flying recently and as I stood in line to get a quick lunch, two soldiers got in line behind me. After I nodded to them, I watched and listened as these two men who were from different units and different wars (one in Iraq , the other in Afghanistan) shared with each other. I recognized that here were two warriors who, although they were total strangers, had a common shared experience that knit them together like brothers. I listened as they got acquainted and I could sense the respect they had for each other and what they were doing in the military. As they left, it occurred to me that people who are on a mission are bound together like family. It is beyond learning, and beyond community even. In his book Exiles, Michael Frost calls it communitas, that sense of being bound together by a common mission and shared experience.
I firmly believe that one of the missing ingredients in our churches today are small groups or classes who truly understand their mission and are sharing life together in an effort to accomplish their purpose. These classes have gone beyond mere biblical knowledge and are putting what they learn in their group into practical, everyday life. Let