A Sword of the Spirit community is a group of people who have committed themselves to pray together, to support one another in a common way of life, and to carry out a common mission. People sometimes use the term “intentional community” for such a venture.
A common way of life means not only that we meet together but that we agree to a set of values about how to live out the Christian life. These are expressed in:
- Teaching on how to live out Christian life in the modern age, and day-to-day help in making this practical in our lives.
- Teaching that is shaped by orthodox Christianity and based upon the creeds, but respectful of the different churches we come from.
- Worship that draws on our various church traditions and on the particular work of the Holy Spirit through the charismatic gifts.
- And support of one another in day-to-day life: to enable this, many of us have moved into neighborhoods where we are within easy walking distance of one another..
We also describe ourselves as “covenant” communities. We have made commitments to live out our life with one another for the long term. For community life to work well, we have to be able to rely on one other, and, in our experience, this requires a higher degree of commitment than is typical in most church settings.
Our life goes beyond any one generation or age group, and we actively encourage relationships across the generations. This benefits everyone. Young people have many older brothers and sisters in Christ to look up to and draw inspiration from, and older people and single people have the blessing of being able to share in family life. Our hope and prayer is that our children will be greater disciples than we are, and to this end we put a lot of resources into our work with our young people.
The Sword of the Spirit has a strong common culture that transcends our international differences. As a result, when members of different communities get together, even though they may be from different parts of the world, there is a very strong sense that we are part of the same international “community of communities”.
Families, households, and small groups are at the heart of our life. A household may be a family, possibly with some single people living with them, or it may be a group of single people living together. In these environments we learn to live together day to day, and learn how to love one another as a result. In the Gospel of John (13:35), Jesus speaks of how the love we have for one another will allow others to see that we are his disciples. That is our hope and prayer.