How to start an intentional communityPosted: June 5, 2012
Hundreds of evangelical intentional communities started in the 1970s, among them the Christian World Liberation Front, Sojourners, Reba Place, Patchwork Central, and Jesus People-USA. Of the five I just mentioned, two of them survive to this day (Reba and JPUSA). There might be a couple of others among the hundreds, but not many lasted more than half a decade.
There’s been a revival of these communities in the last decade, especially within the New Monastic movement. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, member of the Rutba House in Durham, North Carolina, is one of the leaders of the New Monastics. Here he offers some advice for starting a new community:
You can learn about community elsewhere. But you can only make it happen–you can only ever have it–where you are. So find 3 to 5 people who will commit to share life together for six months or a year. Sit down and make a plan. Find an outside mentor for the group if you can. And schedule a time to evaluate your experiment after the initial commitment is over.