Community Distinctives – Why ‘community’?
Although we are a dispersed community (that is, we live in various places rather than together in one place), we share the following distinctives in common with Monastic Orders and Intentional Communities who are actually able to live together in community:
– We have a focus on intentional community and regular gatherings
– We practice a rhythm of prayer
– We practice contemplation, Bible reading and study
– We practice hospitality
– We practice a discipleship programme
– We emphasise practical engagement in mission and service beyond what is normal for most members in an average church setting.
Like old monasticism, a defining mark of new monastic groups is the ‘second decision’ (the vows) members must make to join. (It is called a ‘second decision’ because the decision to become a Christian is considered the first decision.)
Unlike old monasticism, new monastic groups tend to have a dispersed life (though some may have more frequent patterns of gathering than others) and they welcome women and the married.
Based on the Fresh Expressions page on Monastic Orders