Reposting this review because The Wisdom of Stability is on sale for $2.99 for Kindle.
Takeaway: The hard work of building community and developing others has to start with a commitment to stability. If we are serious about changing the world, making a commitment to a specific geography may be the best way to do it.
When I was in college I had a respected mentor of mine pray Jeremiah 29: 4-6 over me (Jeremiah tells the exiles to go ahead and settle down, stay awhile and make Babylon’s concerns and needs their own concerns and needs.) I took that seriously. I expected to stay in Chicago for the rest of my life. I did for 15 years, but then moved to Georgia in order to be closer to my wife’s family. While in Chicago for the last 10 years, my wife and I were members of church near the University of Chicago. In a five year period, there were 27 different people that were a part of our small group. At the end of the five years none of the people still attended the church and only one couple still lived in Chicago. We live in a mobile society (especially those that live in urban areas), even if mobility is down a bit over the past few years.
One of the first things I noticed in this book is that Jonathan Hargrove-Wilson speaks of stability and community in similar ways that Rhett Smith, Shane Hipps and others do. All of these authors fear that people get just enough community, stability, intimacy from their online or short term relationships to keep them from going deeper and getting what they are really looking for. There is an anecdote about a parishioner complaining to the pastor that they were not finding community the church they had been attending for almost a year. The pastor responds that they had only had one year worth of community. The type of community that the couple was looking for requires 30 years of investment. In many ways, this is similar advice and focus as Eugene Peterson‘s Practice Resurrection and A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.