cover of called to community bookI recently had the pleasure of contributing to a new volume on intentional community edited by our friend Charles Moore of the Brunderhof and published by Plough Publishing. Called to Community: The Life Jesus Wants for His People is broken into 52 chapters featuring classic meditations by the likes of Benedict of Nursia, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothy Day, Jean Vanier, John Perkins, and many others, including our friends David Janzen (Reba Place, Chicago), Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (Rutba House, Durham), Elizabeth Dede (Koinonia, Americus), Charles Moore (Bruderhof, Esopus)and Jodi Garbison (Cherith Brook, Kansas City). My own chapter, entitled “The Way,” traces the development of Christian communities from the earliest Christians to the present. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and share it with friends.

Here’s what the publishers say about the book:

Why, in an age of connectivity, are our lives more isolated and fragmented than ever? And what can be done about it? The answer lies in the hands of God’s people. Increasingly, today’s Christians want to be the church, to follow Christ together in daily life. From every corner of society, they are daring to step away from the status quo and respond to Christ’s call to share their lives more fully with one another and with others. As they take the plunge, they are discovering the rich, meaningful life that Jesus has in mind for all people, and pointing the church back to its original calling: to be a gathered, united community that demonstrates the transforming love of God.

Of course, such a life together with others isn’t easy. The selections in this volume are, by and large, written by practitioners – people who have pioneered life in intentional community and have discovered in the nitty-gritty of daily life what it takes to establish, nurture, and sustain a Christian community over the long haul.

Whether you have just begun thinking about communal living, are already embarking on a shared life with others, or have been part of a community for many years, the pieces in this collection will encourage, challenge, and strengthen you. The book’s fifty-two chapters can be read one a week to ignite meaningful group discussion.