Shane, a member of The Simple Way community in Philadelphia, moved into the Kensington neighborhood years ago with a desire to build a community, not a church, and it’s really paid off.
In this interview Shane says the church’s biggest affliction may be a lack of imagination – to dream about where God is calling us – and to take to heart because the challenge is never undertaken alone.
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Shane Claiborne’s passion for Christ and for building a Christian community in the ‘abandoned places of the Empire’ are not only inspiring, but infectious. Here this modern day ‘fool for Christ’ challenge the Church to give itself more to those who have little. Here are my notes from the interview:
Christianity spreads not by force, but by fascination – says Shane – who challenges plateaued congregations to pray, listen, and go out into the world. How well are we dreaming about the place of our faith communities in our communities?
Our Biggest Challenges
Shane says 1) how we relate to other faiths and 2) how we treat LGBT people will be the biggest issues future generations will look back at us with either praise or condemnation – what are we doing to ensure the former?
Look for the Gifts
Shane’s Simple Way community stays vibrant because of its roots in prayer and community building. Shane says a great deal of energy is spent in identifying and finding ways to look at the gifts everyone brings to this ‘big family. In what ways to other faith communities need to emulate this?
About Shane Claiborne
Shane graduated from Eastern University, and did graduate work at Princeton Seminary. His ministry experience is varied, from a 10-week stint working alongside Mother Teresa in Calcutta, to a year spent serving a wealthy mega-congregation at Willow Creek Community Church outside Chicago. During the recent war in Iraq, Shane spent three weeks in Baghdad with the Iraq Peace Team.
Shane is also a founding partner of The Simple Way, a faith community in inner city Philadelphia that has helped to birth and connect radical faith communities around the world. Shane writes and travels extensively speaking about peacemaking, social justice, and Jesus. He is featured in the DVD series “Another World Is Possible” and is the author of the several books including The Irresistible Revolution, Jesus for President, and Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers. Shane speaks at various denominational gatherings, festivals, and conferences around the globe and has been featured in everything from Fox News and the Wall Street Journal to CNN and National Public Radio.
Sponsors I Mentioned
Chalice Press has published a new book called Tour of Life, which is perfect for people moving toward baptism and confirmation. Participants are drawn into a deeper faith as they experience God’s hand at work. Shane endorses it. And you can find it at chalicepress.com or wherever fine books are sold.
Are you headed to the Wild Goose festival? Thousands of campers are headed to the beautiful hills of North Carolina June 21-24. Wild Goose is a festival at the intersection of justice, spirituality, and art. Some of this year’s guests are Jim Wallis, Brian McLaren, and Shane Claiborne. ChurchNext is a proud sponsor – find out more at wildgoosefestival.org