In asking the question – what does it mean to belong to NSC – here’s another response from our community:
“Tell him that if he’s a member, we’ll help him move even if he doesn’t pack before we get there.”
Translation: When you are part of community, prepare for inconvenience. We don’t get to just show up for the good stuff. We show up for the bad stuff too. And we carry each other’s burdens. This is challenging because we aren’t in the habit of thinking that it’s a good thing to ask for help. We also have a nasty habit of judging people who need help as a result of their own poor decision-making. Send a donation to Nepal? Of course! Give financially to a homeless shelter for men? That’s a tougher sell.
This one phrase expresses two requirements of membership at NSC:
- A member of NSC is one who can be in a position of needing a hand up without being required to give back. There’s not quid pro quo required. Lots of people come and go in our community – and that’s perfectly fine. We hope people feel free to come and get what they need and then take that with them wherever the Spirit leads them next.
- A member of NSC is one who eventually figures out that caring for others is not a requirement of belonging, but it is the benefit of believing. It’s a privilege to serve others. We know we are signing up for the long haul of commitment to community, even when it is inconvenient. After all, chances are that we have our own history of messy living. This messiness is not pleasant; we’d prefer people to actually throw some things in boxes before we show up to move them from one home to another. But it’s not a requirement. It’s just life in the real world. We think that’s what it means to “receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:6).
How have you been able to express your sonship by being willing to be part of something bigger than yourself?