The Reformed Blacks of America Blog has a post up on the community of care created by Alcoholics Anonymous groups. One seminary student said to the author:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Michael, I felt more accepted and received amongst that group of individuals than I do my own church family.Ã¢â‚¬Â
There were stark contrasts between the nature of the AA meeting and the nature of his church. The attendees at the AA meeting were more reflective and descriptive of their needs, aware of their struggles and openly honest about their emotional and mental situation, than were the members of his church.
How can we create a community where people can be open about their conflicts and struggles? How can we as preachers promote creating such a place in our ecclesial communities? Do our sermons demonstrate a “struggle” or always an easily packaged answer to every problem and issue? In other words is their place for Job’s struggle and Habakkuk’s questioning or must we always quickly get to the end of the story where our current tears are wiped away before we even experience them? Maybe one day the church will have the community that a Alcoholics Anonymous meeting has.