I’m gonna need some help.
A village would be nice. You know that saying a bunch of famous people have said before me... “it takes a village to raise a child”. Why do we just throw this quote around... or worse, mock it, and do nothing to change the fact that there are other struggling parents all around us and if we just came together to help each other out... maybe we would all survive?!
Not even churches are doing this anymore. Well, maybe some can, but not in my own experience on a grand scale. I remember this one church we tried to attend a few years back. It was huge. It had everything. It even had people patting each other on their backs for the great accomplishments the church had achieved... but it lacked community. You see churches are membership based (don’t get me started on how ridiculous this is) and the one I’m referencing had close to 3,000 members. But when we approached the pastor looking for and requesting some help... he didn’t know how to help us. I challenged him by saying, “with 3,000 members you should be a self-sustaining community... or village! You should know who the doctors are and who the lawyers are and who the chefs are and who the teachers are.”
He looked at me with a blank stare and said, “well, as a matter of fact it’s just the opposite... with so many people how can we keep track?”. I’ve still been meaning to go back and buy him a copy of Microsoft Excel. Each member has to go through an application and interview process... and they don’t ask “what do you do?” or “what’s your profession?”?!?
Just imagine being part of a perfectly functioning church community... and note that I haven’t mentioned God or religion in any of this. This has nothing to do with God or religion, I’m just taking the model of the church because it’s a massive group of people that come together and it seems to me like it should be the easiest to mold. Now, imagine a membership directory - a contact list with all the 3,000 members listed with their phone number and email address, their professions, and maybe their business name or where they work. And then you started to build a culture of real community. So when your car breaks down, you don’t take it to some random garage. You look up in the directory and see that there are 10 mechanics within your community - your church village - so, you take it to one of them. You want to go out for dinner and have no idea where to go - so, you look in the directory and see that a fellow member owns a restaurant downtown.
I don’t think it would take too long before you’ve established the most kick-ass village in the world. You start groups within the village. A group of dads, a group of moms, a group of people who love to help in practical ways. So now when I go to the pastor and say, “I need help!” He asks, “how can we help?” and he phones the leader of the practical helpers group, or the leader of the dads group.
Does that not make sense to anyone but me? Does that not make you want to go to church again?!?
But what about those who don’t go to church?!? What similar organization exists that could be molded to be a membership based village of people interacting with each other and helping each other? Is it out there? It has to be local though. That’s the problem. I don’t need another Facebook group with members scattered across the world.
I think this is the best idea I’ve ever concocted - but, likely, it will never amount to anything. We don’t care about others enough anymore. It’s just about ourselves. No one would get on board with this idea. And the organizations that have the opportunity to change the world... don’t.
I need a village. I need help.