Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Urban Tribes

“Now all who believed were together,
and had all things in common,
and sold their possessions and goods,
and divided them among all,
as anyone had need.”
(Acts 2:44)

In our culture, where we are seeing more and more people isolated and disconnected, we are beginning to see some new trends arising. One of these is being referred to as urban tribes. An urban tribe is a small community of people living and sharing together. Ethan Watters has written several interesting pieces on this topic (Urban Tribes: A Generation Redefines Friendship, Family, and Commitment and Urban Tribes: Are Friends the New Family?).

Characteristics of urban tribes vary, author Ethan Watters says, but attributes often include:

Intense loyalty. The group's message is "we are on your side."

Shared routines and rituals. Gatherings range from regular dinners to group vacations.

A sense of "barn raising." Members pitch in to help each other build decks, paint rooms or

Defined roles. Look for an organizer, an advice giver, an innovator.

Perhaps the Church has much that it could learn from these groups, as well as places.


 What are some road-blocks to people living in this type of community?

 What are some advantages of being a part of a tribal type community?

 What will it take to see this type of reality emerge in our church?

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